tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN April 3, 2012 1:00am-6:00am EDT
. mexican exports represent 37% of american and they generate millions of jobs for the region. and they need to work even more in this region on a clear, trilateral deregulation. for instance, in nano materials and emission standards for some vehicles. today, we also agreed to work in a coordinated fashion on action that we will be adopting to modernize infrastructure and for border management. after 10 years, the last two years we have seen three new crossing areas between mexican and united states after 10 years after not having seen one new route, and the continued to
work -- and we continue to worked -- work to make our border more dynamic said it is a border of opportunities. tomorrow in washington, our ministers of economy and of trade will be meeting within the framework of the free trade commission of nafta to continue to work toward achieving these objectives. today we have seen prosperity depends on a greater integration, with respect of sovereignties, and i would like to reiterate the interest of my country to join as soon as possible the tpp and its negotiations because we know mexicans can contribute to a quick and successful conclusion of this project. if we joined forces in this region, we will see the greatest growth in the world and
generate benefits for our families, our workers, and also substantially improving the competitiveness of the three countries in this context. experience and participation of mexico will enrich this free in of trade project of a later generation that encompasses countries in asia, oceania, and america. our country has a clear commitment to economic freedom. we have the support of the private sector to enter into debt tpp. we are a nation that believes in free trade as that tool to foster growth and development, and we have acted as a result of this. i would like to thank the united states and canada for renewing their support to mexico. as you know in june, mexico will host the summit of the leaders of the g-20. we are convinced over and above the topics we are dealing with there, the complex international environment needs
to be an opportunity so the world can with a commitment to the well-being of peoples and care for the environment. ladies and gentlemen, in the summer, the representatives of the united states, canada, and mexico have undertaken a constructive dialogue. we have talked about the enormous challenges facing us to work together in a globalized world, and we will be working on building a new era that consolidates the right conditions for development in north america on the basis of a successful partnership as we have seen so far today. president obama, thank you for your hospitality. >> i would like to begin by thanking you for so graciously and warmly hosting us here today.
i would also like to begin by offering my sincere condolences to you, felipe, the people of mexico on the passing of your former president, who i gather had much to do with the nafta partnership we enjoy today. [speaking french] canada places the highest value on the french and partnership among our three countries. we form one of the world's largest trade free zones which has been of great benefit to our nation's. we are effective collaborators in the g-20, respond to the challenges of the global recession, and the stability of the past few years. [speaking in french] our government is focused on creating jobs, growth, and long-
term prosperity for all canadians. [speaking in french] i am especially pleased the united states has welcomed canada's and mexico plus interest in joining the trans- pacific partnership. we had discussions on continued operations in managing our borders, streamlining regulations, securing supply chains, and advance to clean energy. in addition we have announced a plan for north america, prepared this and a new dialogue of security to fight transnational organized crime. finally, we discussed the agenda for the upcoming summit of the americas in colombia, and we look forward to work with the
united states and mexico. once again, i look forward to continuing our discussions in cartagena. >> we have questions from each press delegation. >> thank you. mr. president. after last week's argument that the supreme court, many experts believe there could be a five- member majority to strike down the individual mandate. if that were to happen, how would you guarantee health care to the uninsured and as americans who became uninsured as a result? and a question for the prime minister's, also, over the weekend, mitt romney said the
u.s. needs to promote free enterprise around the world. he said, "our president does not have the same feeling about american exceptional is and as -- exceptionalism as we do, and some people around the world have begun to question that." my question to both of you is whether you think american influence has declined of the last four years, and, president obama, if you would like to respond to that, too? [laughter] >> well, on the second part of your question, it is still primary season for the republican party. they will make a decision about who their did it will be. it is worth noting that i first arrived on the national stage with a speech at the democratic convention that was entirely
about american exceptional listen. my entire career has been a testimony to american exceptionalism, but i will cut folks some slack now because they're trying to get their nomination. with respect to health care, i am confident the supreme court will uphold law, and the reason is in accordance with precedent out there, it is constitutional. that is the opinion across experts in the ideological spectrum, including conservative appellate court justices he said -- bensen -- that said this was not a close case. it is important -- as i watch the commentary -- to remind people that this is not an abstract argument.
people's lives are affected the lack of availability of health care, in affordability of health care, their ability to get health care because of pre- existing conditions. the law already in place has already given 2.5 million young people health care that otherwise would not have it. there are tens of thousands of adults with pre-existing conditions who have health care right now because of this law. parents did not have to worry about their children not being able to get health care because they can be prevented from getting health care. that is part of this law. americans, all across the country, have greater rights and protections and are getting preventive care because of this law. millions of seniors are paying
less for prescription drugs because of this law. americans all across the country greater rights and protections with respect to their insurance companies and getting preventive care. that is not even speak to the 30 million people who stand to gain coverage once it is fully implemented in 2014. i think it is important and the american people understand, the justices should understand, in the absence of an individual mandate, you cannot have a mechanism to ensure people with pre-existing conditions can get health care. so there is not only an economic element and a legal element, but a human element to this, and i hope that is not forgotten in this political debate. ultimately, i am confident the supreme court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected
congress. i would just remind conservative commentators that for years, what we heard, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint, that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. well, this is a good example, and i am pretty confident this but court will recognize that and not take that step. i'm sorry. you know, as i said, we are confident that this will be upheld.
i'm confident this will be upheld because it should be upheld, and that is not just my opinion. that is the opinion of a whole lot of constitutional law professors and academics and judges and lawyers who have examined this law, even if they are not particularly sympathetic legislation or my presidency. >> your question was a little local for me, so i am glad the president of the united states entered it. i would take advantage of this moment to say that after the increasing the budget line for the full insurance sixfold and after having built more than 1000 new clinics in the country, we're getting close to recent price reaching universal
coverage of health care, full, free care coverage for all people up to 18 years, including cancer coverage of the 112 million mexicans, that 106 million will have the effect of -- efficient, effective health care coverage. i would to say that i would hope that one of the greatest economies in the world like the united states could follow our example in achieving this, because it was a great thing. >> i do not think you expect me to enter into the u.s. presidential election. let me just say this. this is something i think transcends governments in canada or administrations in the united states. for canada, the united states
which is and always will be our closest neighbor, our best friend. i believe american leadership is at all times great and indispensable for the world. i think of the past few years we have done great things together in terms of the response, both through the g-20 and bilaterally through the recession and recovery. we have under your leadership, a successful intervention in libya. so i thinkit is been a tremendous -- i think it has been a tremendous partnership. >> somebody from the mexican press corps. >> [speaking foreign language] >> good afternoon. for president calderon, we would like to know what president obama said what would be done to stop the trafficking of weapons. president obama, what plans does your government have in the presidential election process in mexico what was
discussed in terms of the interviews with candidates and mexican city, and i would also like to know, for the government of the united states, there is a threat for the country in a sense on weapons, mr. president. weapons have come into the country, leaks of letting the arms prepared for prime minister -- letting the arms come through, and for prime minister harper, is that requirement going to be removed for mexicans? thank you. >> that is a lot of questions. >> go ahead. >> [speaking foreign language] >> my position on this subject is very clear. let me broach it from another angle. it has been shown that when there is an excessive
availability of weapons in any given society there is an increase in violence and the murders that go on many years after this phenomenon took place. in many places in africa, we have seen it in el salvador, guatemala, eastern europe, kosovo, bosnia. has taken place in many different areas of the world, and we sustain that the expiring of the band in 2004 coincided -- of the ban in 2004 coincided exactly with the beginning of the harshest period of violence we have ever seen. during my government, we have seized over 140,000 weapons in four years. i think that the vast majority
have been assault weapons, and many were sold in gunshots in the united states, along the border. there are approximately 8000 weapons shops. if we do our accounts, that means there are approximately nine weapons stores for each walmart that exist in the united states and mexico. so, a good deal of our discussion did touch upon this, but i recognize at the same time the administrative efforts that have been undertaken by president obama and his administration said the agencies control the export of guns to mexico. we have seen a more active effort in this sense than any time in the past. i had a great deal of respect for the u.s. legislation, especially the second amendment, but i know if we do
not stop the trafficking of weapons into mexico, and also if we do not sale of weapons, such as we had in the 1990's, or four registry -- or for the registry of guns, at least for assault weapons, then we are never going to be able to stop the violence in mexico or stop a feature turning of those guns upon the u.s. i am against the traffic of weapons and mexico and -- in mexico, and i am against the trafficking of weapons everywhere. government of mexico will never be able to accept anything that has to do with opening that appeared president obama has -- opening that, president obama has been clear on the position of the government. we understand the work being done by the agencies to stop criminals, but this cannot be an obstacle to the cooperation
we have to have a month in mexico and the united states to stop criminal activities that underlie this issue and which is one of the greatest obstacles and problems for mexico. i understand the internal problems from a political point of view in the united states, and i mention this ad in public. i said things exactly the way i believe them. i said them out right. there is a great deal discrepancy between points of view, but the very complex important underscore it. and i believe that is the only part of the question that i can answer, and i would say what president obama has already answered was very well done. >> briefly, what with respect to the presidential elections in mexico, vice president biden
met with the candidates to express sentiments that are similar to the ones that stephen just expressed, and that is the friendship between our three countries come off the countries, extends beyond and is more fundamental than any particular party or any particular election, and that is the message we have to send with respect to mexico. i have had an excellent working relationship with felipe. i expect to have the same excellent working relationship with the next president, because the underlying interest we have the economically, socially, the people-to-people relationship is so important it transcends the partners and politics. with respect to the issue of guns, i have made clear in every meeting i have had with felipe we have put into practice
efforts to stop illegal gun trafficking north to south. it is a difficult task, but one we have taken seriously. we have taken the unprecedented steps. we will continue to coordinate government because we recognize respect to families and innocent individuals inside mexico. this part of our broader comprehensive cooperation in weakening the crypt of narco -- the grip of narco trafficking within mexico, and we recognize we have a responsibility to reduced demand for drugs, a responsibility to make sure drugs -- not only guns, but cash is not flowing into mexico. the president takes his responsibilities seriously to apply proper law enforcement in mexico. we will keep on partnering together to continue to make progress on this important issue.
>> asked me about the visa requirement. the visa requirement is really the only effective means in canada we have today to deal with large scale bogus refugee claims under our refugee determination system. legislation being implemented before parliament to enhance those changes -- that legislation will in the future and in years to come give us tools other than the visa requirement to deal with that particular problem. as of today, that remains the only tool at our disposal. >> ok. >> yes. >> hello, gentlemen. i have a couple of questions on two critical issues, trade and crime perry, on trade, prime minister harper, why is canada's position at the negotiating table on the transpacific partnership so important to
canada, and secondly, to be a player, are you willing to give up as a precondition our supply management system? president obama, you said there needs to be high standards for a country to be there. do you think yes, canada has met those high standards, whether you want us to drop our traditional supply and management system? in crime, we in canada read about the challenges mexico has on the drug cartels and the violence that occurs down there, perhaps it is possible many convenience and even americans do not see this as affecting their lives, or affecting their communities. approach is necessary to protect our citizens? prime minister, keeping the only -- being the only people who can see both english and french, if you could speak to that, please.
>> in response to the question on the transpacific partnership, this is our desire to be part of that negotiation is part of canada's ambitious trade negotiations. we are in negotiations with over 50 countries around the world. this is an extension of our government's desire to broaden our free trade relationships around the world. canada's position on trans- pacific partnership is the same as our position in any trade negotiation. we expect to negotiate and debate all manner of issues, and we seek ambitious out comes to free trade agreements, and those negotiations, canada will attempt to promote and defend canada plus interest, not across the comic, but in individual sectors. on the question of security --
look, the security problems, the security challenge, particularly around the drug trade is a serious regional problem throughout our hemisphere that has real impacts, not the kind impact we see in central america, but has a real serious impacts on the health and safety of communities and our country as well. as these criminal networks are trans-national, it is important part tends to fight them are equally trans-national. is why we work together on these initiatives. [speaking in french] but[speaking in french]
>> with respect to the tpp, as is true of any process of arriving at a trade agreement, every country participating will it teaches her have to make some modifications. [speaking in french] that is inherent in the process, because each of our countries have their own idiosyncrasies. certain industries that have in the past been protected come certain practices that may be unique to that country, but end up creating disadvantages for this from other countries, so it is a process of never getting making adjustments. canada will not be unique in that. are there areas we would like to see some changes in terms of canadian practices? of course. , i assure you canada will have some complaints directed at us, and every member of the trans- pacific partnership will have to make some modifications in order to accommodate the larger interest of growing the overall
economy and expanding trade and ultimately jobs. something unique about canada that would not be true for any of the other aspirants to forming this transpacific partnership. with respect to the transnational drug trade, first and foremost we should be daughter happening in mexico and central america because when you have innocent families, women, and children being gunned down on the streets, that should be everybody's problem, not just their problem. not just our problem. there is a sense of neighborly regard and concern that has to
be part of our calculus and foreign policy. shares a border with mexico. if you have this kind of violence and the power of the drug trade as a whole expanding in countries that are so closely affiliated with us in central american countries, if you start getting a larger and larger space in which they have control over serious chunks of the economy, if they are undermining institutions in these countries, that will impact our capacity to do business in these countries, could have a spillover effect in terms of our nationals living in those countries, tourists visiting these countries. a could have a deteriorating effect overall of the nature of
our relationship, and that is attention to. seriously, at great cost to itself. just as seriously because we are large chunk of this market. stephen and i were trading notes, in places like united states and canada, this is not just an issue of -- communities. in rural communities, you have methamphetamine sales that are devastating young and old alike, sourced in mexico. even in the remotest, most isolated parts of canada or the united states, they are being
impacted by this drug trade, and we need to work cooperatively in order to deal with it. >> [speaking foreign language] >> i would like to look at it from another standpoint. the security of north america is absolutely tied to each of its member states. there cannot be full security in this country or in canada or in mexico if we do not have a system that actually enables the cooperation mechanisms are transnational by and their nature, and these threats are not just tied to drug trafficking. i will give two examples of success stories. one, the attempt to take one
of gadaffi's children to mexico. this implied a north american operation, because it was headed up by a canadian person, and this multinational operation would not have been of what it without the international security mechanisms that we did not have before, but now we have. also, being able to avoid the assassination of the saudi ambassador in washington would not have been possible without mechanisms of cooperation we have today. thinking about what happens in mexico does not have anything to do with the security of the citizens of this country or of any other citizen of north america is a mistake.
are all tied to one another. now, security understood in the regional cents, in order to understand that, we have to understand where the greatest threat to security actually lies. the united states has a clear understanding of its security priorities, the threat of terrorism, of international terrorism, terrible attacks on the u.s. people, and another threat is in the power of transnational organized crime, which i insist is not crime a organization that is strictly mexican in nature. they do not have a nationality. they're probably operating right here in this city, in washington, for instance. the number of homicides per 100,000 inhabitants is higher by more than 10 or 20 than the largest cities in mexico. these are international in a
destructive capacity, well everyone everywhere. it is true the efforts we undertake clearly make it possible to contain that threat, and to prevent it from acting in society, not just in united mexico, and that explains why last year and 23 million tourists came to our country by plane, plus another 7 million in the cruise ships. that is also why there are 2 million mexicans living comfortably in mexico and many living here who came to visit us here and wanted to see us in the white house, and that is why 1.6 million canadians come to
mexico every year. that is 5% of the canadian population that travels to mexico every year, and that also explains why, despite the fact that a state such as texas recommend that none of its young people should travel to anywhere in mexico, that is why there are hundreds of thousands of young texans to go to mexico and enjoyed it and why we have not seen one single incident with u.s. spring breakers this past spring. great concern, because these are multinational criminal organizations, and the mechanisms to defeat them have to be multinational. in addition to the solidarity, and expressions of solidarity, of president obama, he says he cannot jump aside from the
expressions of threats that is facing a neighbor, the vulnerability from the institutional issues in mexico, also jeopardize the citizens of south america. >> thank you very much, everyone. [unintelligible] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> in a few moments, gop candidate mitt romney is in wisconsin, and no more than one hour, a forum on the race and the 2012 campaign. the american society for news editors continues its annual meeting in washington tomorrow. you hear about the international monetary fund agenda from the imf leader christine lagarde. also on c-span, hearing from president obama.
his remarks are scheduled to begin at 12:15 eastern. >> the c-span 2012 city's tort takes our booktv and american history tv programming on the road the first weekend of each month. this past weekend i figured little rock, ark., at the university of arkansas. >> he was particularly interested in the 19th century, the civil war in particular. two friends, who knew each other prior to the civil war, and fought against each other in 1862, survived the war, came out alive, and remained friends after the war, sitting on the porch, talking about the old days. >> take a look at live in a world war two japanese internment camp. >> a wonderful book, and it
meant surviving the and survivable, and she talks a lot about how the arts and crafts is sort of how they kept their sanity and gave them something to do, how the depression was so bad in a lot of the camps, and there was a high incidence of suicide, and some people would make these little things of beauty to give to each other just as a way to say we support you and we care about you. >> our city tour continues the weekend of may 5 and 6 from oh, city on c-span2 and c-span3. >> in his final campaign event before the wisconsin primary, mitt romney held a town hall meeting in milwaukee, joined by house budget committee chairman paul ryan who endorsed him last week. they are introduced by a
representative. this part of the event is a little more than an hour. [applause] >> i thank you very much, scott. thank you for coming here today some of your questions. [cheers and applause] when i decided to cast my vote in tomorrow's primary, i looked at the candidates have asked myself to questions. -- two questions. which you should ask yourselves and to spend the next 24-hour is -- 24 hours or so spreading the word. who would make the best president if elected? and who is the best person to defeat barack obama? [cheers and applause] if you thought the last three years was about, just think of what would happen if reelected
and can't face reelection after two terms and will be able to go hell that wherever he wants to -- to go hell bent where you once to -- wherever he wants to go, not where the american people or you or i want to go. that is why mitt romney is the best person to lead our party. the best person to be elected president and the best person to be the president for the nextmy job is to introduce congressman ryan. let me say that wisconsin -- let me say that wisconsin has a record of the elected republicans that are not afraid of coming up with problem- solving issues, and taking the
fight from the people that want the status quo. we have republican office holders that have stepped up to the plate, had the guts to do the right thing, had sold the right thing around the country. paul ryan is the latest one of them, he came up with the only budget that gets a handle on the deficits and our debt so that we don't become like europe, and particularly, like greece. he is a leader. he has people following him. it is my honor to introduce my little brother, congressman paul ryan. [cheers and applause] ♪ >> ♪ i was born free
i was born free ♪ >> hey, mitt romney, too! thanks, jim. >> hey, everybody. isn't this awesome? pretty cool, isn't it? this is awesome. thanks, sir. thanks, guy. i brought somebody out here with me. >> your father. >> my father. actually,jim stenson claims to be my father. tomorrow and wisconsin. the opportunity we have is to upset the country back on the right track. how many times have you looked at the television and got angry at the politician that said one thing in the campaign and didn't
do a? -- do it? look at the path the country has been placed upon. look at where we are now? look at the promises made about tackling the big issues. about confronting in solving these things. member we are not the red stains or blue states, but the united states? look where we are now. we have a nation that is deeper in debt and with economic stagnation, and that is being bitterly divided. we need another path forward. the good news is that it is not too late to get america back on track. [applause] the president has given us for budgets and four times he has been complicit with the idea of giving us a trillion dollar deficits. he has been complicit with the idea of taking more from small businesses and more from families to give more to debt.
he seems to gravitate to this philosophy that if we just give more power to the federal government, more power to can organize our lives, organize our economy is, run our businesses, seamlessly make society run better. it is a philosophy they have been pursuing for a long time. do you know what it is doing? it is putting us on the path to debt and declined. -- decline. one of the most of the cold economic crises we've ever had in this country is a debt crisis. we are borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend. our debt is bigger than the economy today. and we know what happens when countries go on this path. turn on the tv and look at europe. that is what is happening to them because they are in a debt crisis. if you wait until it is too late, then you have to cut programs for people who have already retired and who relied
on those promises that are now broken promises. you slow down your economy. that is what bitter austerity brings you if you keep kicking the can down the road and up from making the key decisions that need to be made to save your country. that is the future we have in front of us. about as the future the -- that is the future of the -- the future of the president is giving us with his health care law, his arwin, his death, his tax increases. we are in a business that employs 70 people. and this business is successful because it is competitive. in this business files its taxes as if they were an individual. and the president is saying in january he wants the tax rates of this business to go above 40%. [boos] overseas, which generally in
wisconsin we know as lake superior, but canadians have just lowered theirs to 15% we do not leave our kids with a better future if we keep taxing businesses a lot more than our foreign competitors? there's. we have a big choice to make in this country -- that our foreign competitors tax theirs. we have a choice to make in this country. this is huge. we are in the midst of deciding whether we want to renew the american opportunity. with a safety net? do we want to say that we are beyond economic freedom and opportunity. we want a european society where people are stuck in their station of life. that is not who we are. that is not the entrepreneurial field of this country. that is not the get up and make something of yourself nation that you -- we have become. we are on the wrong path. we have a choice to make. and the choices that wisconsin whites make on tuesday will help determine who we ask -- the choices that wisconsinites make on tuesday will help determine
who we ask to lead us there. we can help make a decision as to who our nominee will be. and then we can go to the country with an affirming mandate, give us the ability to get america back on track. let's reclaim those founding principles that made us great in the first place. let's reject this partisan agenda of denying the problem, passing them on to other people, of pointing fingers and driving us deeper into debt and decline. in my humble opinion, the best way we can do that is to vote for mitt romney tomorrow to be our nominee. for president of the united states. [cheers and applause] [applause] and the way we are going to do this, we are going to do this tomorrow and then we come back here in november and we in wisconsin will send the next
president -- will decide the next president of the united states. join me in welcoming mitt romney, everybody. [cheers and applause] [applause] >> thank you. thank you, guys. thank you. thank you. thank you, guys. what a generous welcome. your a boisterous group. you know that? there is a lot of energy in milwaukee. i will tell you, this is great. you heard the other morning. it was not quite so boisterous. we had a pancake special note -- breakfast scheduled for around noon, a branch. my staff said not many people are showing up. it will be ok. i said, 100 people? well, no, more like 50. so we were back behind. do you seethe black curtain over there, they always said that up before hand. they have on the floor the tape where each of us is to stand. they have the congressman coming out, first congressman ryan. and thensenator johnson was next
and then i was the last one. the congressman goes out and introduces me and goes through the pitch you just heard. a little applause after each applause line. not a lot of applause, but little bit of applause. and so, i was getting ready, and, finally he introduces me as the next president of the united states and i come walking out, and there is nobody there. [laughter] a big empty room, and the tables, a couple of members of -- empty tables, couple of members of my staff there with cameras. and for how fesai can i go, this is going to look terrible on the news. this looks awful. [laughter] it turns out it was april fool's. these guys got me good. i will tell you that. [applause] come to wisconsin and they pull one like that on you. then we went upstairs and it was a cake -- great group and we had a pancake brunch and a chance to chat. this is billed as a town meeting, by the way. what that means is you get to ask questions. after i take a little while here, we will turn to you and
let you ask any question that you like and i will answer most of them. [laughter] and i'm also going to have a congressman and his thoughts to the answers to the questions. unless you would like to ask him directly. and you are welcome to do that as well. and congressman sensenbrenner of there, he says, i'm just watching. i answered questions all day long. i just want to tell him how much i appreciate his vote and his vote of confidence that he described a moment ago. he is a great leader that for many years has led the people of wisconsin and america. i appreciate his work. in congress. thank you, [applause] congressman. -- thank you, congressman. [applause] and i also appreciate the team here that has cleaned out a little bit of space for us. are not sure what in those barrels, but do not smoke in here.
this would not be a good idea. i hope business is good, and getting better. i would like to see esther a -- to see us do a better -- better job of getting more of the stuff that they put in those barrels, but i will get back to that in a moment. [applause] yes, they used to deliver that stuff in just regular trucks. now they have to go around in armored vehicles when they deliver that, the price of oil has gotten so high. i want to tell you how much i have enjoyed what i've been able to do over the last few days, and frankly, over the last year, which is to go across the state and across the country and meet people across america. if all that you get to do, which most of us get to do, is the america by virtue of the evening news, you might be a bit saddened or discouraged. by and large, the people who make the news are doing unusual things, typically, not good the news. but i have been able to meet people who aren't living american lives -- are living american lives in a way that we
do. i come away with extraordinary confidence because there are some features in america that are still there. we are hard-working. we believe in greater purposeswe are very patriotic people. at the same time, people recognize that we are going through tough times. and as i speak to people, rarely do i find someone who says things are great and i have no worries about the future. i'm very confident about what the future holds. most of the time people say things are ok. they are facing tough times, but they are concerned about the future for their kids and for their kids, and sometimes for themselves. i was in appleton and met a couple there, has been and wife -- a husband and wife now, both in sales. the one in the department store -- she sells fragrances. but she says, sales are down, so
she can not be as confident in keeping her job as she would like. her husband works in an industry like this that sells industrial products. he said the company is small and he has had to reinvent himself more than once. he is in his 60 posing hour-and- a-half found ways -- he is in his 60s now and they have had to find creative ways while nearing retirement. the duplexes they had purchased as income-producing properties have lost about 30% of their value in the last years. there is more anxiety than they thought they would be experiencing in their 60s. then, i met a guy in st. louis who was working in an advertising agency. he left, and start of making amplifiers with his son. they had a couple of employees, but the implored -- the obama economy has been tough, so they laid off the employees and have been doing it on their own. they're confident that the future is bright. i met another guy worked for the
city, division. he decided to leave because he knew enough about mowing lawns to start his own business. i think he said he has 200 employees now, cutting lawns, using snow blowers. he said he did i use those much -- he did not use those much this winter. [laughter] the big worry, he said the price of gasoline has made it difficult to go from home to mom. -- from home to home. and he's worried that the epa will start regulating carbon emissions on his lawn mower. you understand how that is being talked about, jim. he said, there is no way, given the thin margin that exist in his business, that he could go out and buy all new equipment that the government might mandate. we have that a lot of the people i've seen are optimistic, hard- working, patriotic, but at the same time discouraged. one that was inspiring -- i met a guy named cc sive and he mentioned that he came to this
country from cambodia. 1976. he came here. he worked in a restaurant and then worked as a cab driver in new york city. he saved his money and was able to get a business school degree. he began working in government and got to know some of the political leaders. lo and behold, about 14 years after he became a resident of the united states, having come from cambodia, he is named the united states ambassador to the u.n. can you imagine that? he said, you cannot imagine the kinds of feelings that would go through my mind as i would stand before the nations of the world, and say, here speaking on behalf of the united states of america. he said, what a nation. we live in. what a country that would offer opportunity to someone who did not speak the language, from a foreign lands, restaurant worker, cabdriver and then
becomes ambassador. what an amazing land we live in. i love america. i love the people of america. [applause] this president made a number of promises when he was running three years ago, four years ago. he said he would cut the deficit in half. he has doubled it. he said he was going to cut taxes for middle-income americans. he has not when you consider the extra taxes you are paying that he has put on businesses, he has raised taxes on middle income americans. he also said he was not able to turn around the economy in three years he would be looking at a one term proposition. we're going to collect. all right? let's take it back. [cheers and applause] [applause] and he points out that he did not cause the recession, and
that is true. but he was the one we looked to to end the recession and to lead a recovery, and he did not. today, we have a record number of people on food stamps, over 45 million. we have a record number of home 30% of single moms and their families are living in poverty. 30%. record levels of poverty in this country. unemployment, he said he would keep it under 8%. that is itself a very high level, 8%. he said he would keep it under 8% if we let him are $177 -- $787 billion. it has not been under 8% since 37 months ago. this president, his policies have not been the result -- of a turnaround, but instead, they have made it difficult to come out of it. and prolong it. his economic strategies are a bust. one of the reasons we are going to take over the white house is
make this economy work, and we do. these little ones over here have learned about politics and a very young age. they have learned how to shout and scream at the right time. mom, you are doing a great job teaching those kids politics. i need them to come with me to every rally i go to commodified? thanks, girls, and son. [applause] the president said something over the weekend. he said, in an ideal world, government can spend as much as it wanted. in his ideal world, spending more and more money and building bigger government is the object. in my ideal world, governments spend less and the government is smaller. it is a very different vision for america. [applause]
and both congressman sensenbrenner and congressman ryan indicated this is a time of choice for america. i hope all around the country people understand what is at stake in this election. this really is a vote about the nature of what america is going to be over the next four years and probably over the next century. we will have a choice of what kind of america we will have. on the ballot will be economic freedom, religious freedom, america's greatness, our military might, whether we are going to pass on to our kids massive debts that we will have left for them, knowing that we cannot possibly repay them ourselves and we expect to repave the interest and principal over their lifetimes. this is a love -- a lesson for the america we will leave it to our kids. today, government at all levels
consumes 38% of the economy. 30%. and if we let obamacare stand, -- 38%. and if we let obamacare stand, it will consume almost half of the total economy. and with the intrusiveness of regulations in places like energy and automotive and health care and transportation and so forth, you would have a government that either directly or indirectly controls well over half of the economy. if you have to ask yourself, do you want an america where free enterprise is very much in question? an economy that is led by government, is that where we want to take america? >> [crowd yells "n1"] -- "no"] >> we also have a trillion dollar deficit. the first president to break a trillion dollars. we are adding trillions of dollars in debt. i have a different view.
we have to cut federal spending. not just slow down the rate of growth, but cut federal spending. and finally, balance the federal budget. [applause] and so, freedom, and economic freedom. and by the way, congress mentioned something about taxes for small enterprises. what has built america's economy over the years? why is it our income per person in america is 50% greater than the income per person in europe? what is it that makes a difference? we have in this nation a commitment to the principles of the founding, which is that we have been endowed by our creator with our rights. not by the state, but our creator. and among them are life, liberty, and a pursuit of happiness. in america, we are free to
pursue happiness as we choose. instead of a government that is directing our lives, and directing our economy, individuals create enterprises small and large and the success of the sum is what bill america. and what this government is doing is that regulation after regulation, tax after tax, they are killing a dream. i want to return to the american people the right they have to economic freedom, for onta bring your ship, for innovativeness. i want america to be the most attractive place in the world for entrepreneurs and job creators. why? because i want economic vitality and we are going to bring it back. [applause]
in the president's government centered society, he believes the government can't do a better job running the economy, government can do a better job -- can do a better job running the economy, government can do a better job of picking the winners and losers, and government can do a better job than you can in guiding your own life. there are few things more personal than deciding what kind of health insurance you're going to have and what kind of treatment you will have for a condition that you have. there is no question in my mind that with obama leading, it is telling you not only what you have, but what you are entitled to. if i am president of the united states, we will stop obamacare in its tracks and repeal it. [applause]
i am just going to mention one of the differences before you get a chance to ask a question or two. and that is come out with relation to our military. i do not think the world as a safer place today. i think it is a tumultuous place. i have to describe that -- to describe to what reagan thought, that america has peace to our military. this president has spoken of reducing the size of our navy further, reducing the number of personnel that we have. my view is entirely different. i would add to our military. i would increase shipbuilding. i would add to the purchase of aircraft. i would add active duty personnel. and i would make sure that the veterans get the care that they deserve. [applause]
this is a question about a vision for america. we're going to have to ask ourselves who we are as americans. do we believe in free enterprise? do we believe in economic freedom? do we believe in personal freedom? do we believe in larger deficits and massive debts? these are the questions we will have for 2012 and for 2016 and for the years after. we're going to have to ask if we are going to be true to the founders of this nation in passing and america to us that is stronger for the next generation. i believe we are going to do that. i believe we are going to stay true to those principles. i believe we will take the next step here in wisconsin, which is, on tuesday i need you to get out and vote and get your friends to do the same thing. keep the america that we know and love.
[applause] with that rather lengthy introduction, i'm going to turn to you for questions that you might have. are you raising your hand? yes, please? >> [unintelligible] i was getting back from a trip, from a scouting program. we heard that on tv they said something about the boy scouts, private stuff on the boy scouts. there when to the court -- they went to the court.
they got $99,000 from the court. >> i did not see that story. i cannot comment on that story. but i can tell you this, i was not an eagle scout. i wish i had learned the lessons that eagle scouts learn. we would all benefit from that. but i have three sons who were eagle scout. [applause] you know i have five, and that means the first two did not get eagles. the reason for that is that mom and dad did not know how important was -- it was for mom and dad to help them get their eagle scout and get out there and do their service project. but we learned after the first two and got it right for the last three. i love the scouting program, the principles of scouting. i love that young men learned person responsibility, respect for the fly, love of the country. -- respect for the flagging, love of the country.
those principles are very much in viewed in my boys. did you make eagle scout? >> and no, i did not. i made it to bear. we spent the night in eagle cave. does anybody hear no evil cave? about 250 kids and their dads in a cave overnight. the day after, you could not see a speck of trash anywhere in that cave. [applause] good people, good ethics, good morals. it is a fantastic thing. >> does that say sooners in? oklahoma sooners? how do they let you in here? you guys have a border problem here. [laughter] >> i'm actually from l.a., but my family is from oklahoma. first, i think you both are
outstanding. [applause] imad automotive technician. i have worked at several dealerships around milwaukee. with the person that is currently in the white house kind of waging a small war on cars by requiring them to get certain fuel economy and with ethanol and stuff, i'm wondering what you are going to be able to do to help, number one, sales of cars go back up from where they are right now. they are all down because of his effect on the economy. i wonder what you can do for small businesses. my wife owns her own small business and they are struggling under the things that obama has done. >> i will turn to the congressman. i love cars.
when you grow up in detroit you think the whole world revolves around cars, and then you realize you are right. [laughter] i happen to have a great deal of affection for the people that work in that industry. i want to see it thrive and grow. there is no reason we cannot be the leader in the automobile industry globally. there are some people who feel that america cannot compete. the truth is, america can compete. there is no industry that we have aspirations to be a leader in that we cannot be a leader in. what has happened over the years is government stepping in and trying to guide a political agenda, or perhaps trying to be more popular with our friends in europe has made it harder to compete in some respects. and management has made huge errors. and in some other cases, i think the uaw ask for too much, and i think the management gave too much. they began putting into effect
legacy costs', retiree costs that were so large that america could not compete with the foreign cars that came here. and we started losing market share. they started to cut corners to keep up with the huge costs. i felt that some of them should have gone through bankruptcy. i said that early on when the executives came to washington. i said, do not write the checks. they need to go through bankruptcy and get rid of the excess costs. and they finally did. [applause] i'm hoping it will come back. i get nervous when i see what is, apparently, the president's team trying to influence what is happening in the companies. if you want to have an american company that is successful, they need to understand the needs of the marketplace and a tune themselves to those. i'm not sure america was ready for the chevy volt.
i hope it is. i do not want to disparage any product coming out of detroit. but i do not think we should let politicians tell us what kind of cars we want. we need to let the market decide that. i was generally disturbed to hear the head of coca-cola say that the business environment was friendlier in china than here. and he was not just kidding. when you look at the tax rates here, when you look at the regulatory environment here, when you look at the heavy hand of government trying to pick winners and losers, the people of this country are saying the business environment here is pretty tough. when you add on to that obamacare, which says to small businesses in particular, i will be stuck with new health care costs i did not anticipate. and then if you have an administration trying to force unions into businesses where neither the employees at nor the management want them, you feel like you are under attack.
i mentioned to the guy who began the amplifier manufacturing business. he and his son. they did a calculation and they added up what they pay in taxes. it was their corporate income tax, federal, state income tax, fica, gasoline taxes, and real estate taxes. they said 65% of what they make goes to government. when you consider the regulations and taxes, the cost of high energy here. because we do not have a and energy policy that makes it good for businesses here. the number of small businesses that have dropped -- that have started per year has dropped by 1000. -- 100,000. we have to have a president that recognizes, as i do, that the right way to get the economy
going is to make america the most attractive place for small businesses to mantra for doors, no bidders. -- for small businesses, for entrepreneurs, and we've got to get jobs going again. [applause] >> we got a dog and we liked it brother, so we got both of them. here is what i would say. the president likes to think that he can manage -- micromanage every aspect of our economy from washington. if we take more power from our communities and give it to smart technocrats, they can't michael might -- micromanage life better that -- they can micromanage life better than you can yourself. i represent janesville, kenosha, a creek.
there are four of our manufacturing plants that we lost. the president isn't practicing cash for clunkers economics. -- is practicing cash for clunkers economics. cash for clunkers did not work. take money from successful businesses. take money from families. ascended to washington, swish it around the bureaucracy, -- send it to washington, swish it around the bureaucracy. what happens when you do that? you end up with the corporate welfare, cronyism. you end up with bankrupt solyndra firms. that is not entrepreneurial capitalism. that is crony capitalism. we do not want that. we want to get out of the way of -- of businesses so they can
succeed. nine out of 10 of our businesses in wisconsin are not corporations. they are successful small businesses. they are the businesses that pay their taxes as individuals. the president is promising, if reelected, in the budget he has been calling for, that the top spot -- the top tax rate on businesses goes as high as 44.8%. how do you compete in a global economy when you are taxing your employer twice as much as your competitors are being taxed in their countries? you do not. the genius of america is the individual. it is the family. it is not the government. that is a philosophy that we have to repudiate this fall so we can get the american economy back on track. [applause] >> they've got a microphone for you. watch this.
>> dhhs mandate, governor, congressman, what do you think is the motivation behind this administration doing this? the health and human services mandate. >> the obamacare mandate? >> and not just the obamacare mandate, but telling churches and religious organizations what they can do and what they cannot. i think -- >> i think there is in this country a war on religion. i think there is a desire to establish a religion in america known as secularism. and based on these reports, the obama administration gave us a lot of discussion. this was not a side issue. they gave it a lot of thought. and what they decided was in this country, the church, in this case the catholic church, would be required to violate its principles and its
conscience and required to provide contraception and boring after pills to employees of the church. -- morning after pills to employees of the church. it came as a shock. those that are people of faith recognize that an attack on one religion is an attack on all religions. it is a reason why we need to get rid of obamacare. it is also a reason why we need to get rid of obama. [applause] >> speaking as a catholic, i've got to say how proud i am of tim dolan. [applause] it is critical to see the red hat on it -- on him, is it? it is kind of small on him. he is a good guy. jim and i debate this in congress all the time. the ways and means committee,
which is the primary committee that wrote this, it is this belief that our rights and do not come from god and nature, like they say in the declaration of independence. they now come from government. to have this new philosophy where we have government granted rights, it is a new philosophy that says -- a treat our constitutional rights as were vocable by the government rather than the inalienable rights that our government protects. in this case, held and disease prevention -- it is called preventive medicine. our first amendment rights, like freedom of liberty, freedom of conscience, a trust that. if the president is willing to do this controversy will mandate, which they did get lot of thought to the -- they met with time -- tim dolan several times. he made it really clear, you
will shut down churches and schools. you are making people violate their own religious teaching. if that is what this president is willing to do in a tough election year cannot imagine what he will do after the election if he never house to face the vote -- face the voters ever again -- if he never house to face the voters ever again? it is unbelievable, isn't it? this is a moment where we have to reassert our constitutional rights, our rights that are ours as individuals before the government. if we embrace this philosophy that president is asking for, then we are giving him our power as individuals. we should never give government that kind of power. [applause] >> governor romney, thanks for being here in wisconsin.
my buddy and i both sold our businesses last fall. i started up a new one. health care costs have skyrocketed in the last few years. my biggest concern as i seek to hire employees is how to afford that for them. i know we will repeal obamacare. but my question is, how will you help small business owners in this way? >> we have a strange health- care system in a lot of respects. the issue that obamacare should have dealt with, the high cost of health care, and he should have dealt with malpractice. instead, he focused on something entirely different. in my view, we will have to do in health care to get the cost down is get health care to be a more consumer driven market as opposed to a government
dominated and driven sector of our economy. health care in america is about 18% of our total economy. in the next highest country in the world, it is about 12%, switzerland. it is a huge difference in cost here. why is that? it is in part because we are running health care like we run other things that the government runs, amtrak and the post office. not terribly well. if you want things in america to be lower cost with better quality, then you try to get them to work with the kinds of principles that exist in a consumer market. why do i say that is not the case in health care? i will tell you. if you are unfortunate enough to get a very serious condition and you have the insurance most people have, which is, you have a deductible. you pay a deductible and after that it is free. you will go to a doctor or a hospital and you never think of asking how much is going to cost because you do not pay the bill. the insurance company does.
in other countries -- and by the way, in switzerland, they have to pay 20% of the bill for elective surgeries. if it is an emergency, they do not. it gives you the chance to shop around. i was with a doctor, an orthopedic surgeon. he said, i found that with people with health savings accounts, meaning they will pay a share of the health care costs, when i tell them that they need an mri, they say where can i get one at the best price. he said when they do not have a at -- a held savings account, they just ask for the closest one is. we need to bring in an incentive for people to shop around and find the best job at the lowest price. i would like to see state-by- state an experiment for ways to make that happen. part of making that happen is to allow people to buy insurance themselves and to own their own insurance, rather than have their company by for them.
right now, companies get a deduction if they buy health insurance for you. but if you want to buy yourself, they do not. i would like people to have the same treatment, whether they buy the policy themselves or the company buys it for them. let them make that choice. let them buy from places across the country. let them have a health savings account. if you have these kinds of market principles, in my view, you will get health care to start coming down like everything else in a free economy. when america has challenges, you look to see if you can make it act more like a supermarket economy. i am not naive. i do not think everything can be solved by free-market principles. but i'm also not naive enough to think that government can do it. [applause] >> i got leia 6 surgery -- leia 6 surgery 10 years ago.
-- lasik surgery 10 years ago. it now costs half as much today and the techniques are much better. 300% average price disparity in health care in just the milwaukee area. we want those doctors, the insurance companies, hospitals competing against each other for our business, based on price and quality, so that we are the nuclear portion of the marketplace, not the government. the one reason i want to say that is because i saw it -- ted, where did it go? canada's. -- cannabis. he is the chair of the rodney for wisconsin campaign. -- the romney for wisconsin campaign.
i just wanted to mention that. thank you, ted. [applause] >> i've got a dunham and over here. -- gentleman over here. >> you talked in your earlier remarks about calling beyond yourself in the run for presidency. obviously, that is not a light decision. i'm assuming you had a discussion with your wife, ann. could you tell us some of your thoughts and her thoughts in this? >> ann played a big role in this. she is the best. she is absolutely extraordinary. i fell in love with her in high school and i'm still passionately in love with that woman. she is a fighter. and she has ms and has done a
great job overcoming that. she has also battled breast cancer successfully. she is a champion and cares about people who have real challenges. two years ago when we were thinking about this, i said, ann, let's talk about the pros and cons. she said she wanted me to run again. i said, let's talk about this and she said, talk to the hand. you have to run again. in her view, having spent my life in small business, then a bigger business that got in trouble and i helped turn around -- having spent my life in business, i understand how the economy works at the level of business. and by the way, when people talk about the economy, everybody, liberals, conservatives, they want a strong economy. liberals, however, do not like business. what they do not understand is the economy is simply the addition of all of the businesses in this country. you have to like the businesses as well. [applause]
i know a good deal about businesses and what is hard in a business and why you worry about hiring and when you have to have a business shrink, how painful that is. it is a tragedy. i know what happens when government makes a decision, for instance, about the steel industry, and it causes us to lose all sorts of facilities and jobs in this country. i understand that firsthand, having spent 25 years in business. that experience, i believe, is essential if we are going to get our economy going again, get people back to work. >> at this time of the year, most of us are struggling with the income tax. as you know, we have one of the biggest, largest, convoluted tax returns in the world. i would like to see you in one of your platforms to simplify our tax code. it is ridiculous. people cannot do their own
taxes. [applause] >> i have heard the congressman answer this question better than i can the last time we chatted. i will just have him describe for a moment his plans on the tax code, which are very similar to my own. do you remember vols-since and, by the way? a republican and a democrat came together and talked about changing the tax code by lowering the rates and changing some of the deductions. that's the philosophy of my plan and the congressman's plan. today, we have the highest corporate tax rates in the world. that means we will lose employers. they will go -- and elsewhere over time. we've got to keep our rates down, so we can keep businesses here, and we do not overwhelm them with the complications of our tax code.
mention the g story. that was amazing. >> p.g. is a big employer in this area and eight -- ge is a big employer in this area and i had a great job on my committee. this is the committee that gives you all of the loopholes over the years. what we're saying is, clear up the loopholes and tax shelters. on businesses, when it comes to corporations, as the governor just said, we have the highest in the world. general electric did not have an income tax liability last year. they still made a lot of money. that was legal. he literally did not hot -- general electric legally literally did not have a tax liability last year. how is it that you did not pay income taxes last year, i asked him? he said, it was complicated. we had a lot of write off some things. i said, how much was your tax code?
57,000 pages. have you ever heard of this? you cannot make this stuff up. like i said, they get it legally. there is nothing legally wrong with this. government did this engaged in this kind of tax code so you can control your business plan and fit this kind of thing. but look at another business we are proud of, ubs. they paid 34% effective tax rate last year. but a german company paid 24%. bring g e up to 25% and bring ups up to 25% and make it equal and fair. [applause] so they do not spend all their
time in washington trying to get some kind of special car out, some special tax break. give up all that stuff. do not spend millions filling out forms. get washington out of the business of picking winners and losers and help us grow our economy. that is what we are proposing. [applause] >> my name is robert. it is an honor and a privilege to be addressing you two today. governor romney, you spoke in the past about the economic necessity of reforming our naturalization and citizenship system in the past. my girlfriend is from spain. she is studying at the university of maryland getting a master's degree. in the middle of may, her welcome into the country is going to be taken away and she is going to have to go back
unless she can find a job to get a working be at the -- visa. that is not so easy. restrictions are more difficult on companies if you're hiring a non-american worker. how much is this for you to actually get reform done? and the second part can also be answered by rep ryan. and how would you go about this specific legislation? what would you be looking for? >> first, let me note something that will hopefully not be lost upon the people that have come into this country legally and illegally as immigrants. that is, this has always been a priority for the president he chooses to do nothing about. he campaigned saying he would reform immigration laws and simplify and protect the border and so forth. and then he had two years with a democrat house and a democrat senate, a super majority in each house, and he did nothing.
let the immigrant community and not forget that while he uses this as a political weapon, he does not take responsibility for fixing the problems we have. my own view is our immigration policies are upside down. we make it very hard for people who have the skills that we need. education and english speaking, and workplace skills, would make it very hard for people to come here and to stay here. on the other hand come some are often able to overstay their visas and remain in this country indefinitely. we have got it backwards. if someone has a degree from an institution of higher learning, a master's degree, a ph.d., stable and green card to their diploma. -- staple a green card to their diploma. we want those people in our country. and we want to stop illegal
immigration so we can protect legal immigration. we like it when people come here legally, particularly that speak english and can work in jobs and create new industries and be innovative. they do not come here for a check. they come here for opportunity. these are our voters. i want to work on an immigration policy that secures the border and also works on a simplified legal immigration process. that is something i will not just talk about during his campaign. this will be a priority of mine if i become president to make sure that we finally reform our immigration laws step by step, secure the border, and improve our legal immigration system so that we can keep people here and welcome people here that will improve our nation. [applause] >> one of our foremost immigration leaders is jim
sensenbrenner. i would also say that we have to work on identity theft. this is an issue that has to be dealt with so that people who come illegally can do so with identity theft. the primary victims are people with of hispanic surnames, legal immigrants. we need to address the rule of law, the border, identity that, and then fix the legal immigration system so that it works and we make sure we do not have any immigration problems. this is a president that has clearly not made it a priority. we have a system that we have to go back and try to fix every 10 years. we need to fix it once and for all. i agree with or you said, governor. >> thank you. [applause] i am told that you have been
here for a while. i just want to say a couple of things and then get a chance to shake up a love hands. i got a message from the governor this morning. [applause] what a guy. [applause] you are a state of champions, by the way. you have great leaders who take on tough issues and make you proud and serve the country well. he heard me speak the of the day and he said, keep talking about the olympics and your experiences there. i want to tell you why i am so confident in the future of our country. this does relate to an experience i had at the olympics. as you know, i had the occasion to help organize the olympic winter games of 2002. at the closing ceremonies, the vice president, dick cheney, asked me to choose an american athlete to sit with him to represent all of the athletes of america. i chose a fellow named derek
para. he was born in los angeles. he is an hispanic american. he is a roller bladers. he tried ice skates and he was fast. he worked at it hard and long and competed with some big guys, i imagine, what from wisconsin and minnesota and michigan, where i come from the originally. and he competed at the open -- the olympic speed skating team. he came out and got a silver medal. that was in the 500 meters. then a gold medal in the 1,500 meters. the fastest man in the world on the ice. i cannot imagine being the best in the world at anything. i invited him to sit by the president. he came in and i said, what was the most meaningful experience of the games? it was not the gold or silver medal. he said, it was being asked to
carry the flag above the world trade center on september 11, 2001. [applause] he explained he was one of the aid athletes chosen to carry the fight. it is about 8 feet by 12 feet and is torn and burned. you cannot put it on a flagpole. you have to carry the war is on a lake, which they did. he said, when they came into the stadium he expected the audience to burst into cheers. he said, instead, it was total silence. total silence and respect. the flag holders were surrounded by the members of the port authority police. and the police and firefighters of new york. and he said, we stopped in front of the choir and they
began to perform the national anthem. and he said it was hard to hold on to my motion as i was holding that like and they were singing those words. -- holding that flag and they were singing those words. and then he said the choir did something unexpected. i knew this was coming because i got to choose the version of the national anthem the choir was singing. i chose the version in the 1930's are raised by robert shaw where you repeat the last line. one active higher for the choir. oh, say does the flight yet wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. and he said a gust of wind lifted it and blew it up in their hands. and he said it was like the spirit of all of those that had died were lifting the fly. and tears ran down his face.
i thought then and i think today that passion for america, the patriotism that we have for this country, our conviction that this is the greatest nation in history of the earth, our affection and appreciation for those who have gone before us and have sacrificed with their lives for our freedom, that conviction convinces me that america will rise to the occasion. the challenges that we face, the deaths that we have, the government out of control, a government increasingly intrusive in our lives, iran trying to go nuclear, we can overcome those challenges if we have leaders who tell the truth and live with integrity, who know how to lead. who actually have led before and will also draw on the patriotism of the american people, and i intend to be one of those leaders. thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
♪ >> si spans road to the let us coverage continues tomorrow with the primaries. -- c-span or road to the white house coverage continues tomorrow with primaries. we simulcast part of politicos election night coverage. join in the conversation by phone, on facebook, or on twitter. watch all of our coverage on line at c-span.org/campaign2012. cities tour takes our book to be in american history tv programming on the road. this past weekend featured the garrote, arkansas. booker t. be looked at the
collection at the university of -- featured of little rock, arkansas. booker t. be looked at the collection at the university of arkansas. >> prior to the civil war, they knew each other, they fought against each other in 1862. they survived the war. they came out alive. they remained friends after the war. >> american history to be looked at life in the japanese internment camps. >> there was a wonderful book. there was surviving the and survival for them. she talks about how the arts and crafts or how they kept their sanity. it has something to do -- how depression was so bad that a lot of the camps, though a high
incidence of suicide. people would make these things of beauty to give to each other to say, we support you. >> our cities tour continues the weekend of may 5 and 6 from oklahoma city. >> in a few moments, a harvard university forum on race and the 2012 campaign. in less than an hour and a half, the un ambassador on a proposed resolution regarding syria. and then, stephen harper on relations between the u.s. and canada. on "washington journal," we will be joined by the delegate from washington, d.c., to discuss the budget, the future of the health care lock, and the possibility
of statehood. you can call in with your questions about the tax code to alex brill. we will look at the role of the federal reserve with jon hilsenrath. live every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. now, a harvard university forum on race and the presidential election. voter i.d. laws, the black vote, and the response to the martin shooting by president obama and those republican presidential candidates. this is a little less than 1.5 hours. [applause] >> good afternoon, everybody in. i am the director of the institute of politics at the kennedy school. we want to welcome everybody this afternoon, the john f.
kennedy jr. forum to kick off the politics conference. i am pleased to introduce one of the organizers, gabrielle wyatt. she is specialize in her studies in k-12 urban education reform. she has chaired the leadership conference and is the code- share of the keynote -- co-chair of the keynote conference. >> thank you. welcome to the eighth annual black policy conference. today we have the pleasure of being against the backdrop of the john f. kennedy school forum to celebrate heritage and horizons, the innovative solutions rooted in shared experiences. it is our hope that our conference presents generate
innovative solutions to approach the world's challenging problems. without further ado, we would like to begin that discussion with our moderator. thank you. >> thank you so much. i am thrilled to be here with you. i am one of the current fellows at the institute of politics here at the kennedy school of government. i am having a fabulous time doing it. i want to introduce my panel. starting with the gentleman to my immediate left, our third date -- artur davis. he is a four-term member of congress, representing alabama's seventh district. he was named as one of the 10 best congressman in america. he graduated from harvard university in 1990, which i also did, oddly enough. and harvard law school in 1993, which i did not.
in 1992, he was named best oralist. to his left, we have april ryan, the course on for urban radio networks and the host of the -- she is a member of the national press club. she began her career in baltimore md., my home town. she served as director of to her left, we have ron christie, who i do radio with. it is a small, colored world. he is the founder and president of christie strategies and a veteran senior adviser for both the white house and congress. he served as a resident fellow at the harvard institute of politics last soon. -- last term.
he is also the professor at the graduate school of university management. to his left is callie crossley, host of the wgbh show. she was an academy award nominee and emmy award winner as a producer on the documentary series eyes on the prize. she was a panelist on meet the press -- beat the press. let's get a round of applause for this panel. [applause] so we can look at the interconnections between us as people who we knew, but it is kind of a small, colored world when it comes to political journalism and political punditry when it comes to african-americans and a lot of people of color.
to what extent is that an advantage or disadvantage, that you know so many of the players? you are dealing with some of the daily issues of the presidential campaign, so i will start with you. >> is an advantage that you know the players. it is such a small number of us that are seen daily that have the ear of the president, who are called by name by the president. because of that, when there are issues, particularly for the black community or people of color, then make sure that they target you. for instance, during the bush years, i did not even have to raise my hand. president bush knew, next question. some issues during this presidency, barack obama says
particularly with the black farmers, he knew i was one of the ones raising the issue. because there are so few of us, there is an advantage. at the same time, it is a disadvantage because mainstream media is always there. particularly with this president, it is and everyone approach. they want to make sure that they touch black media. it is a fine line to walk for every president, not just this president. they do not want to be perceived as trying to pander to an audience. at the same time, they want to make sure the audience hears their message. >> ron, you do tv, radio, you teach, you run a strategy company. there have been many times that
many african-americans and other people of color have said to me, be careful, do not get put in the black box, meaning you are only called upon to talk about race. if you have had a career in republican administrations where you transcended the black box in many ways. how do you act responsive to the inevitable questions of race in america and make sure you are heard on other essential pieces? >> is interesting that you say that. when i joined the bush administration, i was initially the deputy domestic policy adviser. you go there and you think, i am going to be the best policy adviser there is because i am smart, i am a lawyer, and you look around and recognize there are not as many folks who look like you and you feel an obligation, particularly in the bush white house, where i felt there were certain areas they could have been more sensitive
on issues of race. if you do not speak up and offer your voice, it is an opportunity missed. for me, i went to our chief of staff right after trent lott made his infamous comments about the former senator strom thurmond and the insinuation was that it strom thurmond was elected president, perhaps a lot of us in this room who look like those of us on the stage would be in a different place. i was so angry when that happened. i thought, special assistance for the president do not march over to the chief of staff and say, we are blowing it. we are missing an opportunity. i wrote him a four-page letter and went through and said, i cannot rationalize this for myself or my family and anyone outside of these dates if we remain silent and do not address this issue of racial insensitivity. when he called me, i thought i was going to get fired, but
instead, it opened a dialogue. it is a double-edged sword. it is good in many respects because people are looking to you. it is bad because people are looking at you. >> artur, as a congressman serving in alabama, you have been able to see many of the commonalities and divisions that typified american politics. and your work here at the iop is a blow by blow of what it takes to run for president. how do you see -- what did you learn from your term in congress about the issues of race and how they play into politics? which of those lessons apply to the current presidential race? >> let me put it into context. the conversation you talked
about, getting put in the box. i was in congress for eight years. it was a pretty good eight years for african-american members of congress. at one point, there were seven african-american members who were chairman of committees, another seven who were chairmen of the subcommittees in. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] were chairman of committees, another seven who were chairmen of the subcommittees in. about 15 or 16 of us walking around as mr. chairman. you want to be mr. chairman if you are on the hill. it is a good thing. what was always interesting, wherever there were subjects of jurisdiction or controversy, it was amazing that the mainstream press never seemed to call on them. in a previous lifetime, i used to watch a lot of shows on sunday morning. i do not do those things anymore. the voice and things like that. i would always be struck.
they would talk about tax policy. weirdly, there was this guy, i think his name was rangle, who knew a lot about that and became the chair of the committee and was a ranking member before that. i would never, even before this started, i would never see charlie rangel talked-about tax policy. we would not see eye to eye on a lot of things, but benny was the chair let -- the chairman of the homeland's security committee. homeland security is a big, broad topic. we talk about it every 9/11, when there are terror alerts every few months. i would never see bennie thompson, the ranking member of the committee, the chairman of the committee, ever talking about homeland security. i could keep on going if we had enough time.
you get my drift. i thought it was just pundits or talking heads, those of us who write blogs or that kind of thing. it is not just those of us who are talking heads, it is elected people and people who have proved their spurs by becoming committee chairmanships. we are going to talk about all of these things about race and politics and probably something that happened in florida that happened a week ago, maybe you have heard something about it. and we have heard -- and we should talk about that. it is very important. but we have started on exactly the right note. by asking the question why are voices of color often put in a particular, limited context.
my final point, i do not want to leave harvard out of the equation. i win here as an undergraduate and law student. it still looks good on a resonates. -- a resume. i remember being in a class that i like very much. the guy who ran the session was a good guy. he would do a review on politics. i happen to be here -- he was decidingfor president a third t? marion barry got into some stuff in d.c. he would call on me and he would say, artur, what do black people think about the situation? what do black people think on him running a third time?
the first couple times -- the first time, it hurt my feelings. the second time, it's good being offended. the third time, i thought, the chance to say what artur davis thinks. it is an incredible challenge that everyone who is black or brown or yellow or indian has to appreciate. there are a lot of people who are going to look at you and decide, you are smart, but i'd bet your specialty is this. i think it is a normal problem, it limits us. >> callie, let me dig into media. you and i are both people who continue to persevere in what some people think of as a dying industry. of course, the level of
competition, the mergers, the shrinkage, my first job was at newsweek which is no one but the daily beast -- which is now run by the daily beast. how does that affect the ability to have a good strong coverage during a political year, which includes important racial topics? >> it means that stuff gets overlooked. i say all the time, there are many perspectives. what happens when you do not have the many voices in the room to talk about what is the central issue of the day -- you have lost something in terms of understanding what the issues are and how they impact all of us in a community. i see it over and over again. for those who say there is only one way to look at it, i have been in so many discussions.
i have raised my voice to say, but what about -- it is a huge loss. back to the double edge sword, sometimes you are in the uncomfortable position of being the only voice to raise it. it does not just have to be about race, but a different way of looking at something that may be informed by the fact that i am a person of color. i look at things a little more broadly. just by the nature of my experience as a human being and a journalist. i cannot say how valuable it is to have those other voices in the room. even those of us at this panel are weary, do i have to say it one more time? there is always somebody new in the room. >> speaking of an issue with one
truth that many perspectives, i am going to go to the case in florida. trayvon martin's death. it has become a media firestorm. we are getting to the point where we need to focus in on what some of the central issues are. to me, this is my personal opinion, we have a very bad law that is influenced by lobbying patterns in america. it is not just an issue of justice 41 young man, it is many unarmed people. i want to take this into the presidential carina. we are supposed to talk about the presidential race. president obama said if i had a son, he would look like trayvon. recently, robert zimmerman said
i never foresaw so much hate coming from the president and the naacp. mitt romney says it is a tragedy, there needs to be a thorough investigation. rick santorum said that stand your ground is not doing what this man did. newt gingrich said the district attorney had done the right thing and of zimmerman he said it was a guy who has a hobby that is dangerous, armed neighborhood watch. side from zimmerman's father, you see some unanimity of critique. what impact does the trayvon martin case and these aha racial moments have on political
races? go ahead. >> it has a lot to do with the presidential campaign. if you are president, you are president of all america. everything goes to the white house, from war to peace. trayvon martin is part of the white house. the president talked about his son. the white house had been working on crafting some kind of response. the justice department was working on crafting some kind of response. what do you think about the trayvon martin issue? i said, i know you do not want this in your lap. there was a big mistake made with the henry gates situation. the new head -- then you had the
shooting. they had to craft a statement that was general but with ownership. at the same time, the republican candidate for president, i am going to be blunt, it is not on the radar. we have seen it. numbers of black americans going to the polls during the primary and not even measurable. >> all of the candidates -- >> they had to. the president spoke. that forces them to say something about it, particularly in light of gun laws. they are strong proponents of the nra. they are courting the hispanic vote, not necessarily the black
vote. they had to prepare something that would not push them out of the way, make it tea party like them -- make the tea party dislike them, something broad enough that whatever happens, they would be ok. with something of this magnitude, they had to come in and step in. they are the moral leaders of the country. they set the tone in so many respects. >> 3 worth that april said, setting the tone. i think the president did not set the right tone. i think he should have gone further. the thing i took exception with what he said is that he said, if i had a son, he would look like
trayvon. what does that have to do with the price of tea in china? you could say, and a father. -- i am a father. i was upset he did not say, people need to chill out. this is a sensitive issue. we need to learn what all the facts are. by him saying, we need to have a soul-searching moment -- we do not know what the facts are. the only thing we know is that a 17-year-old boy was shot dead. he was shot by a neighborhood watch person who was armed. that is all we know. he was told to stand down. the fact that our president said, if i had a son, he would look like trayvon, it only added
a little more kerosene. see, it is a racial issue. folks need to get riled up on issues of race as opposed to being more compassionate. >> artur. >> there are 1000 things to be said about this. this is one of the big concerns i have about the trayvon martin controversy. one of the two eyewitnesses -- no one knows what happened. having said that, if it turns out that george zimmerman is telling the 100% gospel truth, if it turns l. that trayvon martin did slammed his head to the ground, if zimmerman's version is vindicated, it does
not excuse the fact that all kind of people who look out of place, if they are not getting shot, they are getting detained. the of getting questioned. they are getting analyzed. they are getting profile. on the flip side, if it turns out that somebody comes forward and says, i saw this thing and what zimmerman says is 100% false, if he is convicted and black folks are jumping up and down the street, that is not going to solve the fact that some other black kid is going to wander into the same situation. every time i hear us obsessing about one controversy, i do not care if it is this, if it is
rodney king, i was a student here when that happened, we get so worked up over one person. of course we ought to care about the tragedy. we forget the fact that the resolution of that one person's saba still leaves us with the same problems. elected in a black president did not lift race off the backs of the american people. that is a reality. my final point, i will follow ron's instinct, you have to say something controversial. this does remind me of one of the thing, may i use the we in the literal sense, meaning the folks of color. we have to be very careful about over-invoking racism and race and racial injustice.
i will be very candid with you, we love to do it. african american politicians under investigation, we love to talk about a number of african american politicians under investigation. we love to talk about patterns. we love to invoke racial injustice. we love to say that every time a new measure is passed that says you have to do one extra thing, that is the ugly and of jim crow. it sounds good. it makes you feel nice and warm. the only problem is, as good as it sounds, and eventually the real wolf does come knocking at the door. when the real wolf shows up at the door, if it turns out that zimmerman is lying, that is what
happened. then it sounds like what we are saying, it sounds like it is what we have said, and how we have said it before. it does not resonate the way it should. i will make those two cautionary point. do not think it is going to solve anything or and anything -- end anything and be careful about how we talk about walz being at the door. -- wolves being at the door. >> recently a participated in a forum in new york. the african american studies library in new york, on the panel was randall kennedy. in the process of conversation, one of the things that came out was that, although we have this
black president, president obama, in some ways, he is perhaps the least equipped to deal with structural racial injustice. it is a third rail for black politicians. inject whatever else you feel, do you think that in some ways there is a structure against black politicians? the wolf could be at your door 10 times in one night. the wolf could be at your door one time. it could also be 10 times. it could be the wolf. under what circumstances can you challenge structural injustice, not just sporadic in justice? >> as a black politician, not very much. as leader of the free world, he has the justice department. it is under his power to say,
let's go see what is going on in florida. that is what he can do. it flies back in his face. people are going to say, in this polarized -- i cannot call it a dialogue, discussion, ranting, that is going on in this country, if you bring to the table that you are black and speaking about race, it is translated into racism. i want to pick up on something that artur said. the last person in the room that wants to call it racism is the black person. i do not want to be the person to say, did she not wait on me because -- i want to think of anything else but that. the way this gets translated it is that people imposed upon us,
saying we scream racism. we are the less people who want to call it up. we want it to be anything else but that. when it is there, let's face up to it. that is the frustrating thing around the trayvon martin case, the negativity we have seen that is racially based, directed at president obama. i hear no other voices except black people saying, come on, y'all. recognize this. to the extent we are still operating in the context, we are operating in the context of, this is going to go on today and tomorrow and the next day, we have to figure out how we are going to go forward. your point, that is what president obama said that trayvon could be my son.
the undertone is about the ongoing racial conflict. to not say anything about that in the most carefully crafted way he could is disingenuous. i really do think so. >> let me respond and go in a different direction. we have a short attention span as an american community. we remember what happened this morning and yesterday. i remember an episode about six months ago, i will not pick on the college by name, he is a prominent figure for the civil- rights community. he was talking about the phenomenon of "racism" and the response to barack obama. i think he made some points that were very good.
he took one point too far. he said, two years ago, i am quoting him, "when the tea party folks were out there and they were holding up the signs showing obama with the hitler mustache, can you imagine a caucasian president being treated in a disrespectful way ?" the host of this show paused for a moment. he said, i want to show you something. he put up a clip of george bush with a hitler mustache and dick cheney with a hitler mustache. a lot of ugly things have been said about barack obama that a disrespectful, that a dumb, that
have no basis. news flash, being president of the united states entitles a lot of people to feel they can say dumb things about you. i have this memory of another guy, he was once called the first black president until we got the first black president. his name is william jefferson clinton. at one point, people said that obama was a muslim. what was his name? pastor wright looked anything but a muslim to me. that continues to float around. that he used to be the biggest drug dealer in arkansas and run drugs at of a pout of a private airport. that he had his white house aide
it killed. that he had raped a woman, two. i will not even repeat some other things that were commonly said. i could go back through the charts. none of them -- there are some people who dislike barack obama. so many people walk around with race at the core of their heart, there is no reason to think it would stop. we have to be mindful of this. we live in a time where contempt towards people would disagree with is a common political play. it is awful. the notion that if we do not agree with someone's politics, we ought to tear them down.
that if someone does not think like us, there is something wrong with them. the left things, if you do not agree with me, there is something wrong with your brain. the right says, if you do not agree with me, there is something wrong with your soul. if we can get past the politics, i think it will be a lot better off. >> i have to it jump in here. we are in the q&a time. we did not even get to big issues like, before we wrap up, we will go through it speed read on. -- a speed round. there was a poll that said his approval ratings have inched over the 50% mark since last may. there were others that were lower. the same poll said that if the
general election were held today, president obama would win handily. there is the issue, another issue i find troubling, which is the black unemployment rate being double -- it rose, the overall unemployment rate stayed stable, the black unemployment rate rose, it is at 14.1%. i hope some of the wise people will be able to craft questions. we have microphones here. i will give you the drill. all questioners must identify themselves. one brief question per person. no speeches. questions and with a question mark.
>> good afternoon. my name is michelle wilson, i am from the epa. my question has to do with voter suppression, what you all believe will be the effect on the election of these laws and how we should, as a group of people of color, what should be our strategy to deal with these ideologues and their intention of reducing the number of people of color at the polls? thank you. >> the assistant minority head, on the hill, he is also the
head of the anti-voter suppression effort. he said, it is going to happen. the fact that you are going to have to have your id card. everyone needs to make sure that you get some kind of state id so that you can go to the polls. you do not just have that. you have the issue of the fact that this is not going to be the big one. you will never have the big moment. there is an issue, the intensity, it did not just have the voter-suppression issue, you have the intent to the issue. 90% plus went to the polls for obama. obama is concerned about intensity. factoring in the unemployment
numbers, the fact that black people -- i think some of this trayvon martin issue is a culmination of so much. there are so many african americans who are disenchanted by so many things. they are scared to speak out. they fear it could hurt the president. this trayvon martin issue has evolved into a lot of things. this placed anxiety, the perfect term. -- displace anxiety, the perfect term. there are several factors that black america needs to face. why am i going to the polls? the big moment is gone. this is what black america have to deal with.
>> let me ishaqi by saying something about voter i.d.. -- let me shock you by saying something about voter i.d. it does not bother me. let me say why. whenever i hear somebody say that and i d requirement is oppressive, i have to ask the question, how many times are we asked to present id in the course of citizenship? the department of justice is challenging voter i.d. laws. you cannot get into the department of justice without a photo id. it so happens that you cannot get into a lot of private buildings in washington and new york without an id. if you try to get on a plan without an id, they have to make
a whole bunch of phone calls. if you happen to be an arab person -- i have not seen any of those factors in vogue at rage in our society. whenever i say that, people say, the difference is we have a right to vote. britain not have the right to get on a plane. -- we do not have the right to get on a plane. you may discover you feel you do have a right. there is this interesting notion that if you have a right in this country, that nobody can attach a burden to it. that is at the heart of what people say. they are saying, because i have a right, you cannot put a burden
on that. when you turn 18, you do not become enrolled to vote. i did not see anybody saying that you should be auto-enrolled to vote. we have a registration. registration does not happen -- you have to fill a form out. you choose to vote. you have to stand in line. you have to get someone to notarize your form. do you have a right to vote absentee? you bet you do. you have to jump through some groups. -- hoops. if you register people to vote and you are active politically, that is okay. here is how you handle the worry. make sure that folks have an id. you get out and register them.
>> i have a feeling that other folks want to follow up. i am going to go to the next question. >> i am and alumni in the public policy program. it is interesting that black people talk so much about having our points of view heard and discussed and what we do not do is to make our thoughts heard affectively. we do a lot of talking, when it comes to voting day, we are supposed to show up. we are there, registering our opinions as we were given the right to do and our forefathers blood so that could happen. we are not there. what is it about us that keeps us talking and raising the good
fight philosophically, but we did not take care of business? >> callie? >> people have to feel the vote is connected to their lives. when they do, they vote. it cannot happen for barack obama, people felt -- the turnout happened for barack obama, people felt it was connected to their lives. the inauguration -- he never gets up to do nothing. he felt connected. for pookie and many other people, the question is, will it
make a difference if i get up? i did not see it will make a difference. he is not able to go to a federal building. he is part of the 25% without any government issued id. 70% of the elector for all votes are held in states with photo id laws fo. that is a political situation. whatever it is, it is a reality. some laws are still yet to be enacted. i have to enter this about the photo id thing, there has not been demonstrated fraud. i am ok if you demonstrate there is fraud. that every second person is fraudulent. all right, let's take them through all the hoops. that is not the case.
somehow, the story has to be connected with the folks who are not voting to make them understand that there is a lot at stake in this election and every election. itmore alexian's than most, is going to provide a stark contrast about policy. people need to be paying attention to that. >> we have two questions appear. i am going to start on the right. >> i'm a sophomore at the college. this is a follow up. race plays a different role in the democratic and republican party iies, he may disagree with me. this might be controversial
but, i wanted to ask, to what extent the believe that race is used as an instrument in politics. >> when we talk about the voter i.d. and voter suppression, it is being used as a wedge issue against republicans. somehow, republicans want to suppress the vote of the people of color. they are putting together this new jimc rowe era -- jimc rowe era poll tax. it is nonsense. you cannot exist without an id. >> you can. i am if field reporter who goes out to those tons with there is nothing but a corner store at the intersection of tree and rock.
>> i am only looking at my own example, my relatives. miraculously, my 98-year-old grandmother has a voter i.d.. it is nonsense that republicans are seeking to divide the country on race -- it is nonsense. the plan to the point that there is no proof that this is a republican witch hunt, that is where i am going. you look at the election in minnesota. the congressman who had the seat, it is proven there are more folks who were legally registered to vote to cast their vote. i need to go no further. in minnesota, it is not a place where you a trying to suppress the minority vote. there is one instance where it
is false to say it never happens and an instance where the democratic party is time to stir up interest by some republicans are racist. but -- saying republicans are racist perry >> there ought to be one of every two people are fraudulent voters. there is not that. when everybody leading the voter i.d. campaign is republican, well, people say, what are you doing? and why? the only state where i know there were black people part of the discussion, was rhode island. rhode island has a voter i.d. law. there are black lawmakers who feel strongly about it. the rest, they a democrat. it was the black democrats
involved in supporting the law in place in rhode island. everyplace else, i do not know. >> let me jump in. 15 seconds on this point. the guy who served in congress before i did, in the democratic primary in 1992, he got 130 votes, in the run-up to got 13,000 votes -- run-off he got 13,000 votes, you do the math. in a governor's race in louisiana there was a minority running. he was not a black person. he was an indian-brother. five days before the election, his opponent cichlid a fly air -- circulated a flier that
showed him with long hair. they darkened the photoperio. the only place they want to hand out the photo was the george wallace area. that is where they handed out these fliers. his name was bobby jindal. he came back and won. he had a five point lead before they went had the race on him. the day was the democratic party. -- they was the democratic party. jindal is a republican. there are folks in both political parties who use race when they feel like it as a political instrument. there are democrats who are as
happy as republicans. there are some republicans who have a history of doing it too. it is not a partisan thing. >> i am a freshman here at the college. i would like to ask this question on behalf of the jfk forum. i am aiming this at mr. christie. could you describe what role your race played during a time in the white house? do you feel you were treated differently, is the positive or negative, as a result? >> it is great to see you again. jacob was a but this event in my study group. -- a participant in my study group. it is great to see a friendly face. i will tell you a story.
it is in the book. it upset me. it related to the ways we could have been more sensitive. i was ecstatic to be in the east room of the let us when coretta scott king presented president bush with a portrait of her husband. he was very fired up. he said, i can hardly wait to hang it. i waited a couple of weeks and there was no portrait. i went to the east room, the west wing, i cannot find it. i went to the chief of staff and said, what happened to the portrait? he said, i do not know. someone had put it in a box and ship it to a federal facility. the portrait came back. the chief of staff said i want it back. i said we should hang it in the east room.
perfect. hung up on the wall. two weeks later, yangon. it disappeared. i said, how is it that we have white house staff where we have been given a portrait of doctor martin luther king that someone continues to take this thing and put it somewhere -- is that with this is going? -- where this is going? it goes back to my earlier commentary, no one else seemed to care that this portrait was not there. if we cannot even hang a picture of doctor martin luther king in the white house, what else are we doing wrong? that started my crusade in the white house to speak out and to be a focal figure -- vocal
figure. >> the bust is still in the white house. it is still there. he is in the oval office. >> a good spot to be perry >> he is on the move. >> i am a freshman at harvard. we have talked a lot about the problems rub in politics and the issue of race, what can be done on capitol hill and on a personal level to try to rectify the problems as much as we can? i you optimistic that change will come? >> i have been at the white house for 15 years. bill clinton, the eight years and to which the the bush, to this president. -- the eight years of george w. bush, to this president.
no matter what your agenda item is, your idea is grade -- >> can you explain to a. philip randolph is? >> a pullman porter. >> i need that explained. [laughter] >> i am time to give a synopsis of a synopsis. -- i am trying to give a synopsis of a synopsis. he was told, i think your idea is great. you have to make me do it. that is what we have to do now, to make congressional leaders take notice. to make presidents take notice. i have not seen, i am saying we as a people, we do not have the it-ness. witnes-to-
change is still ongoing . people do not want to stand at the white house. i am telling you, the aggravation, the tension, for people to look at, that is what will bring change. in my opinion. >> i have to say, and industry. i worked in the technology industry. i have doubled and technology since 1995 have 1995dabbled -- have dabbled in technology since 1995. when i worked at a biotech company, there were no black voters -- at a tech company, there were no black coders.
you do see stratification. white, black, asian, native american, very different outcomes, sometimes it has to do with race and ethnicity. some of it has to do with, what i call, the social aspect of hiring. people conform to stereotypes about who is hirable. based on that -- if you want to put together a startup team, there are reasons why you want a homogenous team. you want people who you can spend 23 hours a day with. when to start growing that, you should not have the homogenous company. we need to start looking at things from the industry's perspective which cycles back to
the issue of jobs. >> can i say something quick. it is relevant to everyone who is here. this is the world we live in. washington, d.c., new york city are the two hubs of the legal world. an average major law firm has 1000 people. do you know how many black partners are at those firms? you would be lucky if you had 10 to 15. that is fractional. we have not had an african american considered to be on the u.s. supreme court since clarence thomas. as not one of those three individuals, not one of them has interviewed anybody black for the u.s. supreme court since 1991. that is the reality. does that mean there are no
qualified jurists who are african american? look at the appeals court. this is a problem that works its way through our system. how many times when african american candidates want to run do we hear the question, is he electable? when barack obama was running for the senate in illinois, all the major democratic players in d.c. said he is a smart, a young man. he is very capable. we just wish she was electable. i did not hear anyone asked if a white guy is electable. >> i'm a student at the business school. my question concerns a longer- term view. can you discuss the impact that growth in asian and latino populations will have?
>> that would be huge. [laughter] >> could you repeat the question? >> he said what about the demographic impact on asian and latino populations on electoral coloring. my answer is it would be huge. we are talking in generalities. the asian community is growing too letter in larger political power. latinos have numbers. they are prepared to flex the numbers. >> [inaudible] >> we vote more than you think. 76 percent of blacks voted in alabama. there is this myth that blacks do not vote.
blacks are voting. >> african americans have slightly lower floating rates than white americans, but above latino americans -- lower voting rates than white americans, but above latino americans. florida is different from massachusetts. >> i talked to michael steele before i walked in. he said, the black population is not even a consideration anymore. in the republican party, they are going gung-ho for the hispanic population. when nixon became president, 40% of african-americans voted for him. when george bush became president, it was 9%. the former black congressman said to me -- republican congressman. [laughter] he never went to a meeting. >> i did not go to a whole lot. [laughter]
>> yeah right. [laughter] he said to me, when president bush got in he said, i can see black america voting for a gop candidate, i can see that coming. now, the numbers are not measured at all. you cannot measure them. they said, forget the black population. they of the win for the hispanic population. the obama administration -- they are go in for the hispanic population. the obama administration is also going for the hispanic population issa . >> mark rubio coming out to say he felt the republican party was losing the young latino voices. it was an opportunity for the
republican party. because he is an attractive candidate, a vice presidential contender, to address immigration issues head on. let's let me point out a fact that will play something about -- >> let me point out a fact that will tell you why the latino demographic is so hard to point down. cuban-americans, 91% ofn a a certain age said they were white. in the 2010 census, 41% of the children's generation said they were white. race is something that is a perception and ties to the motherland or fatherland depending on whether you are an
immigrant or second or third generation. to a great extent, we may not know how the latino cravaack dedemographic evolves. do you think the republican party has given up on black people? >> no, but we have done a terrible job. we lost a golden opportunity. in april, it was 10% in butch's first election. you think, that is it? what are we not doing that a significant portion of the electorate are saying, i have written off the republican party. i think you have to start small. when i was the policy director for george allen, i said, you have to make an effort to go to committees of color and go in there and keep your mouth shut.
-- to communities of color and go in there and keep your mouth shut. politicians love to talk. the opposite of talking is listening. in politics, the opposite of talking is waiting to talk. [laughter] the people of the republican party, a thinking what they are going to say. stop and listen. go to committees of color and listen. say, what is on your mind? what can i do better? we show up, hey, come vote for me. we go to the church. see you later. >> can i make one quick point. i want to be respectful. in the interest of fairness, there would not be a tim scott
-- he is the only black member of congress who represents a predominantly white district. there are only two african american members of congress who represent predominantly white districts. i used to be the recruitment share for the democratic party. this is african american -- if an african american candidates in the democratic party surfaced it was always in a black district. the staff took a look at it and said, he is a good chap, but he is not electable. 20 and 25-year-olds are going to figure that out. and eventually they are going to figure out that there are more
of them advancing in the republican party today in predominantly white environments then black democrats are advancing in predominantly white environment. -- environments. >> i do agree with the. we have to try to get all the voices in. i am going to ask each of you to speak back-to-back. we will answer both of your questions. please introduce yourself and ask a question. >> thank you. thank you for all coming out. i'm a first-time legislative from minnesota. -- a legislator from minnesota. i wanted some clarity on a comment i heard. it was a republican supreme justice that determined that there was no fraud in the
election. 133 have been found to have committed fraud. but of those, -- out of those, they thought they could vote. fraud is not happening at all. if it is not fraud, the voter i.d. deals it is a national agenda, if it is not fraud, why do you think we are attaching an id to your right to vote? >> i am going to take both questions. >> as a citizen of this of the congressional district, i felt some obligation to ask a question. [laughter]
i do appreciate, you alluded to my question, talking about democrats and republicans and having african americans representing the district's with the majority are not african american. i observed the same thing. not being the chairman of the committee. as someone who observes politics. how does the democratic party thickset moving forward? we have made efforts towards that -- party fix that moving forward? we have made efforts towards that. >> the democratic party needs to live up to its progressive ideals on racial inclusiveness. i am amazed how many democratic politicians talk a wonderful game. i am amazed how many white democratic politicians can get a little bit of rhythm.
i can even do it. when you asked and the question, are you willing to get behind an african-american candidate for something behind a black district, it will be 50 reasons why they will not. -- they will give you 50 reasons why they will not. it is not just crosslartur davi virtually all of these states in the last several years, if you are thinking harold ford is an example, let me tell you, they tried very hard to get the governor of tennessee. folks who ran the democratic party did not want him. i would love to see some good old white democrats stepped up and say, here is an african american politician we think we can get behind.
>> we do not have time. what i want to do is get a response to our first question there. and then i want to do a speed run. a speed arouround. does anyone want to get to the fraud question? >> the question of the matter is there was allegations that there was fraud. it did go to the court system. it was stolen by people who are not legally eligible to vote. the way it was adjudicated is the right way, going through the court system. for those who say it did not happen, that is one case. >> speed round, who do you think
is going to win the presidency? >> i do not have a clue. barack obama should worry about, if the health-care log it struck down and the whole conversation is about what the next lot is going to look like, that is not good. >> that is artur davis, a fellow at the iop, and a former congressman from alabama's seventh district. >> there are eight months. it is a long time in politics. anything can happen. president obama could be up. next week, he could be down. you never know. ithe economy, the economy, the economy. on health care, if one provision is struck down, he is all right. if the individual mandate is
struck down and everything else safe is in tact, he is all right. >> could we get a prediction? i asked for a fortune cookie. >> you do not know what i am going to say. wi-fi thing peggy noonan -- i think pay the sum it up when she said, barack obama can lose but only if the republicans to feed themselves. he should be easily beatable, but the republicans have a remarkable propensity to blow it.
do i think romney is going to win? i do, but do i did we have an extremely odd way of losing it and sells the struck staying -- self-destructive? yes, but i put my money on governor mitt romney. >> thank you so much. >> you will not be getting a prediction from me. here is what i would say. >> you are afraid if you make wrong prediction, he will not make it to the white house. the white house and -- >> this is such an interesting race if the presumed candidate is mitt romney. what i said before about a stark
contrast of policy is really going to be on the table, so that is the starch. for both parties, there are reasons for people to stay home. maybe the black people who are they are just done with him. good on the republican side, i did not want mitt --those are their reasons to stay home. on the republican side, i do not want mitt, but hey barack obama, so he has got to go. listen to the stuff going on. i have got to get up and defend, so there are reasons on both sides, so this would be a very interesting race i think.
we also invest in newer technologies -- wind, solar, carbon capture and storage. all types of energy innovation. the truth of the matter is this -- i know this is not necessarily a popular thing to say. if you look at supply and demand curves for energy in the future, the demand for hydrocarbons is going to remain anonymous. even with the growth of clean energy sources. in fact, the argument i make too
many people, especially those who are skeptical of climate change, if you look at supply and demand issue, we have to be finding ways to get a plentiful, reasonably costs sources of energy outside of hydrocarbons because i am not sure that hydrocarbon production cannot keep up with demand. that is why not just right now, but nevertheless several years, a rising price of oil. it is simply a supply and demand phenomenon. the way i see energy in the future, we are going to have lots of hydrocarbons still in the mix, including increased natural gas. as unpopular as it is, nuclear will be a growing part of the mix. not withstanding the challenges ban of nuclear energy. it is the only --
notwithstanding the challenges of nuclear energy. the options we have great hope for are either not available or not reasonably priced. >> safe storage of fuel, there are some new ideas. there is this new idea about an international fuel bank that could provide for this function around the world that might be in at some future of lifetime an answer to a iran. -- and serve to iran. -- an answer to iran. at any rate, there is lots more to talk about. car production. the u.s./canada collaboration on cars is huge. most people do not understand
that the exports between the u.s. and canada keep adding content. >> the average north american car, when being produced, crosses the border 16 times as it is being assembled. >> the mexico institutes on our shared border with mexico shows that 40% of exports to mexico and imports from mexico is contributed by both sides of the border. this is very different from an import/export relationship from china, or pick a country. let's just turn to foreign policy. if you have these cards, you need to bring them up to me. if anyone has these questions, i hope you had them off some place. please. foreign policy. as i told you, my focus and congress was on intelligence and
security. we have an extremely close intelligence to with canada and have a four years. on security, canada has been our closest ally. or certainly, one of them. in terms of things we have done and are doing in the middle east region. hard things. one of those hard things is trying to find better answers on syria. i did ask prime minister harper whether these were friends, and secretary of state answered, yes. we have decided to provide some aid to the opposition in syria. how do you assess that? are there any better answers? and if we could break syria away
from iran, my suggestion has been to grant immunity to the family and hopefully get them out of the country and do what we did in the yemen to provide a stable, alternative government. if we cannot achieve that, how you see a way forward? >> first of all, we agree with the united states and all of our allies that there is no resolution without assad stepping down and stepping aside. that is essential. we are working with all of our allies. obviously, it would be helpful if all members of the security council were cooperating with our objectives here. i think we have to be frank in saying this is a more complex situation that we faced in libya.
in libya we faced essentially a family regime. >> where canada played a leading role. >> we played a leading role. we're very proud of the work the general did up there with nato. in the case of libya, we face a family regime. a widespread formed opposition. in syria, it is more complex. the support is deeper in some segments of the population. certainly, it was in libya with the case of gaddafi. this is much more fragmented. the possibility of prolonged and widespread, dangerous chaos is much more marked we would all like to see more unity and
strength among the opposition. we would also like to see the government make changes and reach out. work with the opposition. it is hard to see how this and swell if both sides do not do that. our assessment is -- how this works well if both sides do not do that. it also appears that it should be clear to assad and his people now that it does not appear that any amount of repression is going to stop the rebellion or the demonstration. it would be greatly helpful if we can get all members of the security council to work towards a resolution, but we do not have that today. >> right. i need some questions in my hand.
someone bring them. i assume you're asking questions. how many rhode questions on a car? we need this. the deal -- here he is. the question man has arrived. this was the plan we had. ok. we have received questions on keystone xl. was a surprise. here they are. here is a summary. americans are concerned about increased greenhouse gas emissions. should companies be forced to offset their oil fans productions with greenhouse -- green the russians? will this affect your government's position? >> right. first of all, everything i have seen in united states indicates pretty overwhelming public
opinion in favor of the keystone pipeline. president obama has told me repeatedly that this decision will ultimately be on the basis of its merits. i have no reason not to believe him on that. i think there are three things that are important to say about this keystone pipeline. the first is that one should not in any way minimize the sheer economic scale of it. this has the capacity of employing up to 30,000 people on both sides of the border. this is a huge energy project will have enormous economic activity and employment of facts across a range of industries in both countries, which is why business and labor are so strong was supportive of it. secondly, we talked about this earlier.
energy security. the united states -- it is not possible for the united states to get a friendlier four or more secure supply of oil from anywhere than has canada. if one looks at the options, middle east, and venezuela, it is obvious this is the better option for energy security. the third is that the environmental impact of this should not be exaggerated. oil fans, while they are heavy, are no heavier than typical oil crude purify no heavier than venezuela, for example. which is where a lot of it will be from. not that there are not environmental challenges today -- there are. but they should not be exaggerated or somehow you need to or out of the mainstream of the oil industry. that is just not the case.
what approval this change our minds? the answer is no. this underscores to our country that we must diversify. we have taken a significant price hit by virtue of the fact we are a capital survivor -- supplier. look. i am a strong and firm believer in the importance, not just the economic importance but the security importance of our relationship and the importance of the united states in the world. but we cannot take this to the point where we are creating risk and significant economic penalties to the economy and to not diversified asia when it is
a growing part of the world. it simply makes no sense. >> i do think americans would prefer to buy their oil from canada. but i do think a lot of people are concerned about the environment. i assume there still are concerns about the pipeline. >> my understanding is the routine concerns have been addressed in nebraska itself. look. i'm not sure i am much of a believer of -- in offsets. if you're concerned about emissions, find a way to control emissions. offsets are with pretended you have addressed the issue would
merely have not. [laughter] >> changing the subject. when will canada decide to form a customs union? [laughter] >> yeah. i think that is a purely theoretical question. i certainly -- there has obviously been a tremendous growth in trade and integration between our economies. i have set no appetite, particularly in the united states, to take the economic relationship to any fundamental a deeper level than it is today in terms of a customs union. i do not think that is in the cards, particularly in the context of nafta. it is more to do with the
mexican american relationship than the american-canadian relationship. what we have done with the obama administration is we have this beyond the border initiative where we are finding ways of avoiding duplicate of screening where we cross the border. of doing moreways screening at the border. these are ways to significantly increase integration, trade, and tourism flow across the border. i do not see a custom unions in the card. >> i think those are very smart initiatives. another term for that is the smart border. pushing the border of the way is smart. we did that in the united states with something we called the safe ports act which requires cargo, which can be a great risk, to be screened in
china or some other asian port. cargo this transport across the ocean. when it arrives at our port, it is not dangerous. >> i forget with the exact term is. once it is checked in one country, it is good in both. >> i think we still have more time, so i can use a few more questions unless i cannot see the clock very well. here is one. ice in the arctic ocean has been melting at unprecedented rates causing concern among some, but opening previously unavailable resources as well as a shipping route. is it a place for cooperation or competition? where does canada fit? >> it is probably a place for a
little bit of both. it is true that more of the ice is melting. it is also true that the economics of commodity prices are going to drive resource development where costs are higher and traditionally it has been harder to make economic projects viable. padilla a big part of our country is in the arctic region. we have put a -- a big part of our country is in the arctic region. through the arctic council and others we do cooperate. we are cooperating on the united nations law of the sea and the
resolution of a various claims. but those things all said, there will also be some increasingly intense competition for economic activity in that part of the world. >> changing the subject to the border. can we do more on each side of the border, such as biometrics to allow people to cross faster and easier. >> the beyond the border initiative i mentioned earlier in hanses biometrics and information sharing between our various security agencies. those are all part of the program we put together with the obama administration. it is really very simple. how do we increase the ability of ordinary businesses, ordinary travelers and tourists.
friends and neighbors to cross the border regularly and seamlessly, what the same time being able to identify risks and threats, and identify them early and away from the border. biometrics sharing, all of those things are part of the answer to that equation. i am of the strong view that we have seen this all over the place. i am of the strong view that checking millions and millions of people, making them go through line ups, making them go through screening, is not, in and of itself, off an effective way to identify a potential danger. we have more sophisticated ways. >> i think you're just describing tsa. [laughter] having been in at the creation, i would set a couple things. one, we are getting smarter about how we do that.
in our country, we have labored security. we do not just have one way to catch people. -- we have layered security. one of the things that to say is always had with this is why don't kids are babies have to be checked? but some of the folks trying to attack us have no respect for human life. if they put explosive underneath babies or kids, it is highly unfortunate that they cannot value life the way we do. therefore, we do need processes sometimes that lookit people who would not logically or likely, in most cases, the suspects. changing the subject to health care which did not come up. i do not raise it, you did not either. as the head of a country with
long-standing universal health care, d.c. this as a budgetary burden or boom? >> that's a -- [laughter] it depends on the context. many canadian businesses will tell you that having universal, single-payer system simplifies life for them and reduces the cost of doing business. on the other hand, we cannot fool people and tell you that the growth of health care in canada is a serious concern to all senior government's health- care budgets. over a long period time, they have been growing faster than our economy. i know that the health care system of the united states is very different than the health care system of canada. all western developed countries have variants of a mixed health
care system. my observation to be that in spite of these differences, the problems that afflict virtually all of them are the same. that is the cost and the pressures on them keep growing faster than the ability of western countries to sustain growth. why is that? i think there are two reasons. one is, the fact of the matter is, and it is a good thing, nowadays we can do so much in terms of health care. so much in terms of curing people and extending life. in fact, if we have an unlimited supply of money, we can almost do unlimited things. the problem is we do not have that, so we have to find ways of limiting it. sustained life is growing enormously over the past trouble -- a couple of generations.
the other problem is our economies are not growing fast enough. this is something i have talked with the canadian people about. we just won a national election in canada by emphasizing that the canadian economy has done so much better than under developed economies during the recession and recovery. the truth of the matter is that is not a good measure because most developed economies are not growing the way they need to be growing. one of the things we have got to do in canada and everywhere is find ways of increasing productive capacity and the growth capacity. not just the fiscal measures and the regulatory measures and innovation and other kinds of measures so that we can keep growing our economy and keep a funding programs like our health
care program, which our citizens want and value. but the truth of the matter is, and i'd try to say this as a wake-up call to canadians but i would say the same thing here in the u.s. and europe. i have traveled to asia. i know many people in the audience here and other parts of the world see these big, emerging economies. they are smart, hungry, and hard-working. unless we find ways of competing with them, we're going to be under considerable pressure regardless of what the nature of our health-care system is. that is the real challenge. >> i surely agree. the challenges are hard. one of the big issues that came up during the health-care fight i wasn't well in congress was the issue of rationing care. -- while i was in congress was the issue of rationing care. >> absolutely.
>> in some ways, even more. i get defined benefits that go to a certain point. >> the government is the sole provider. that lands on the government's lap. frankly, it is the provincial governments in canada figure out how to ration the services and make the best use of the dollar's. they are increasingly difficult decisions. >> all right. we have a lot of other questions. i cannot really see, but i think we have 11 minutes to go or so. let's pick some random ones. about thes transamerica partnership. did come up. i think president obama was asked if he would support that. i believe he said yes. >> he was positive in his comments. >> the question is when will candid join? [laughter]
your the plant -- when will canada join? you are the president, you should know. >> i remind people what our government took office in 2006, despite the fact we're one of the most open, trading economies in the developed world, canada had a trade agreement with only five countries in the world which is one of the absolute lowest. we have signed with nine additional countries. we are looking for others, including the european union. japan, india. our interest in joining the partnership is only natural. we have agreements with three of the countries in the trans- pacific partnership, including the united states. our strong sense is that most of
the members would like to see canada joined. -- join. i think there are some debates about the merits of that. our strong view is that if we are to build on a north american advantage, the integration we have is here in nafta. frankly, we get around the table. it makes sense for all three of the nafta partners to be part of this. >> we have put these together. a couple more environmental questions and another war question. you have instituted cuts and there will be cuts to their programs. he or she wants to know whether canadian scientists can clobber with their u.s. counterparts. another question is what role could hydropower play in
canada's clean energy exports to the u.s. budgetarygovernment's savings, the scale of our savings program in canada is very modest compared with your reading about in most countries. our budgetary plan to give back to balance involves a 2% reduction in federal spending over a three-year period. is findre trying to do ways that we can deliver similar services and goods to the canadian public that, frankly, a lesser cost of we have been doing so. i hear rumors about that and the federal government here as well.
the fact we engage in air quality programs and collaboration is not going to change. hydropower. we are a significant exporter of hydro energy to the united states. quebec is a very big exporter of hydropower. we have a fairly integrated electricity market between our countries already. for canada to dramatically increase its hydro power and to export more of that to the nine states. this is one form of energy we will not be exporting to asia. >> that would be tricky. >> we have tremendous capacity for growth here. and there are regulatory obstacles on both sides of the
border. we think it would make a lot of sense for the u.s. to purchase more clean power from canada. >> speaking of borders, this is very specific. the new bridge between windsor and detroit will make our border seamless. why not forged an agreement with president obama on this? >> we have been working with american governments for some years. some of you may know that there are unusual circumstances around detroit that we're trying to overcome. we think it is essential -- let's be frank about that. there is a bridge there today that as a private owner. my understanding of the private owners position is he not only owns the bridge, but somehow owns across it.
we do not accept that. it is a public space. governments on both sides of the border have a right to make sure that we have the ability of the cross-border traffic to be accommodated within infrastructure. i think the preference of all governments would be public infrastructure. we have found in terms of your responsibilities, we find ourselves primarily dealing with the state of michigan rather than the government of the united states. as for the authority really is here. we have a working relationship with the governor there and are making significant process to realizing a new crossing, hopefully before i leave office. [laughter] >> at least we can agree that is not a bridge to nowhere. [laughter] >> this is the biggest single corridor of trade in the world.
the concept that somebody could claim that he privately owned it all is, to me, ludicrous. but, to some degree, that is the situation we're dealing with today. >> quick question. -- good questions. thank you. really good. we have a few more. here is one and immigration. how have canadian immigration policies helped to attract highly-skilled labor. there was a question at noon put you about a visa policies, especially about mexico. i think the president as to that. we are not doing so well on immigration policy. how are you doing? [laughter] >> well, like the united states, canada has always been a land of immigrants. i like to remind people, as in the united states, you hear lots of critiques of canadian
immigration policy. in many cases, from immigrants themselves. the fact of the matter is, notwithstanding, all of the efficiencies of the policy, that immigration has had with immigrants, half have been overwhelmingly successful in canada. -- have been overwhelmingly successful in canada. the energy and hope that immigrants bring to our two countries, i do not think we can really overstate how important that is. you can look immigrants as people who contribute to the economy, but they provide vitality and excitement about our nation that really is unmatched anywhere. there are so few places in the world. in canada, we like to think that we are number one in terms of the ability for someone to come from anywhere and become a full-
fledged part of the acute -- of the community. that is a unique experience. we are all living much closer than we realize. this is a tremendous advantage. you go to a country like japan. it is a wonderful country. but they have an aging population problem as we all do. japan does not have a benefit of immigration. is it lacks the at the top -- the economic benefit, the demographic benefit. the cultural benefit, which i think is substantial. notwithstanding all critiques, immigration has been a great thing for both our countries, particularly for canada. however, our government has said that in the context of the labor market challenges that we face through an aging population, that making sure immigration better serve our economic and
labor force is a priority. barbe we are in the process of making some significant changes to the immigration -- we are in the process of making some significant changes to the immigration process. >> that is an ongoing subject of discussion here, too. as is comprehensive immigration reform which we came close to enacting a few years back supported by president bush, 43. one of the perceptions, i will ask you one more of these questions, but i wanted to comment on this. at least, i heard from our security folks is that one of the worries was it is easier to get into canada that our country. folks were not appealing to get into your country and then try to cross your border and attacked us and our country.
he had a rental car with a truck full of explosives and attempted to block lax. i focused on that. illegal immigration is a challenge in both countries. >> we work closely with our american counterparts. there has been an outstanding a cross-border cooperation. i will say this. i sometimes hear these concerns about dangers immigration from canada. i will tell you today that, beyond the shadow of a doubt, there is a far higher percentage of illegal immigrants in the united states and canada. >> i don't think anyone will argue. >> movement across the border in terms of undesirable individuals or weapons, drugs, there is far more that comes north then goes south.
[laughter] that is important to remember. [applause] >> i think our clock has run out. you are so quick. i thought this would be a good end. sadly, we cannot get to every question. this is a good way to end. what, in your experience, is the greatest myth that people hold about canadians and canada? [laughter] >> yeah, i -- [laughter] i guess i do not know how to answer that. there is all kinds of stories. i don't know how true there. about americans showing up in the middle of summer wearing winter clothing. it is not quite that cold all the time. i think the greatest myth -- maybe not myth. the greatest misunderstanding and challenge that canada has to the united states is that the
relationship between us is so deep and so close and, for the most part, so seamless, that in spite of its enormous size, american is simply do not understand the scale and economic consequences of it. that is the greatest challenge that we face. the greatest not we face is often getting attention in the united states to issues that are important to us. as i say, partly because this is smooth and seamless relationship, for the most part. that is really the big accounts that canada always faces. it has been a profile challenge in the united states. occasionally, we often find ourselves on matters that are before congress or the administration, sometimes
getting sideswiped. date the buy america provisions and other things, we get sideswiped by policies that have nothing to do with canada. i like to quote tom donahue on this. he always reminds me to never take any of this personally or badly as canadians sometimes do. he said the only reason americans and united states sometimes treat canada badly is because we view canadians that really as a foreign country, but s family. and that is how we treat our family. [laughter] >> on that note, on behalf of the forum, we would like to thank you you and your beloved ambassador for spending -- i guess making this year only private stop in washington. >> i appreciate the opportunity.
>> i think everyone has enjoyed your humor, your substance, and your commitment to our shared relationship. thank you. [applause] >> thank you a lot. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [applause] >> in a few moments, mitt romney campaign in wisconsin which holds its primary today. "washington journal" is live with segments on the tax code and the federal reserve. on "washington journal" this morning, we'll be joined by delicate eleanor holmes norton to discuss the budget, the future of the health-care law, and possibly a statehood for the district of columbia. you could call in with your questions but the corporate and individual tax code to alex
brill. and more on the role of the federal reserve thejon hilsenrath. -- with jon hilsenrath. "washington journal" is live every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. the american society of news editors holds a meeting today. we will hold -- we will hear about their agenda for the international monetary fund. also on c-span today, we will hear from president obama. his remarks are scheduled to begin at 12:15 p.m. eastern. >> c-span's 2012 local content vehicle cities to work takes our book tv programming on the word -- on the road. this past weekend featured
little rock, arkansas. >> he was particularly interested in the 19th century. a civil war, in particular. these are two friends who knew each other privately before the war into fought against each other. they came out alive and remained friends after the war. here they are, at age 100 sitting on the porch, talking about the old days. >> american history tv looks at life in a japanese internment camp. >> a wonderful book. it meant surviving the and survivable. -- the unsurvivable. she talks about crafts or
something to do. there's a lot of depression in the camps and suicide. they would make these things of beauty to give to each other just to say, we support you and care about you. >> our tour continues the weekend of may 5 and sixth on c- span2 and c-span3. >> in his final campaign event before the primary, mitt romney held a town hall meeting in milwaukee. he was joined by house budget committee chairman, paul ryan, who endorsed him last week. this part of the event is a little more than one hour. [applause] >> thank you very much.
thank you for coming here today to hear the next president of united states and to answer -- [applause] when i decided to cast my vote in tomorrow's primary, i looked at the four candidates. i ask myself two questions which you should ask your cells and then spend the next 24 hours or so spreading the word. one, who would make the best president if elected? second, who is the best person to be brought -- to defeat barack obama? [applause] if you thought the last three years was that, just think of what would happen if he is reelected and cannot face reelection after two terms and will be able to go hell bent to wherever he wants to go, which
is now or the american people or you and i want to go? [applause] that is why it mitt romney is the best person to lead our party. the best person to be elected president. the person who will be the best president for the next four years. my job is to introduce congressman ryan. let me say that wisconsin has a record of electing republicans who are not afraid of coming up with problem-solving issues. that is taking flak from people who want the status quo. we had a whole long list of republican office holders over the last 30 or 40 years who have stepped up to the plate. have the guts to do the right things.
paul ryan is the latest one of them. he has come up with the only budget that actually gets a handle on our deficit and our debts so that we do not become like europe and particularly like greece. he is a leader. he has people who are following him. it is now my honor to introduce my little brother, congressman paul ryan. [applause] ♪ >> thank you, jim. hey, everybody. isn't this awesome? it is pretty cool, isn't it? [applause] this is awesome. thank you, sir. thank you, guys.
i brought somebody out here with me. my father. [laughter] thank you very much, jim. i really appreciate that. we have got a great opportunity on tuesday, tomorrow, here in wisconsin. we have a chance to finally set our country back on the right track. you know, how many times of the the the television and said, and not increase at the politicians who said one thing in the campaign and then did not do it in office? well, look at where we are now. look at the path the country has been placed upon. look all the promises that were made. look at the promises made about tackling the big issues. about confronting in solving these things. member we are not the red stains
or blue states, but the united states? look where we are now. we have a nation that is deeper in debt and with economic stagnation, and that is being bitterly divided. we need another path forward. the good news is that it is not too late to get america back on track. [applause] the president has given us for budgets and four times he has been complicit with the idea of giving us a trillion dollar deficits. he has been complicit with the idea of taking more from small businesses and more from families to give more to washington and put us deeper in debt. he seems to gravitate to this philosophy that if we just give more power to the federal government, more power to unelected bureaucrats, then they can organize our lives, organize our economy is, run our businesses, seamlessly make
society run better. it is a philosophy they have been pursuing for a long time. do you know what it is doing? it is putting us on the path to debt and declined. one of the most of the cold economic crises we've ever had in this country is a debt crisis. we are borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend. our debt is bigger than the economy today. and we know what happens when countries go on this path. turn on the tv and look at europe. that is what is happening to them because they are in a debt crisis. if you wait until it is too late, then you have to cut programs for people who have already retired and who relied on those promises that are now broken promises. you slow down your economy. that is what bitter austerity brings you if you keep kicking the can down the road and up from making the key decisions that need to be made to save your country. that is the future we have in front of us.
about as the future the president is giving us with his health care law, his arwin, his death, his tax increases. we are in a business that employs 70 people. and this business is successful because it is competitive. in this business files its taxes as if they were an individual. and the president is saying in january he wants the tax rates of this business to go above 40%. [boos] overseas, which generally in wisconsin we know as lake superior, but canadians have just lowered theirs to 15% we do not leave our kids with a better future if we keep taxing businesses a lot more than our foreign competitors? there's. we have a big choice to make in this country -- that our foreign competitors tax theirs. we have a choice to make in this country. this is huge. we are in the midst of deciding whether we want to renew the american opportunity.
do we want to say that we are beyond economic freedom and opportunity. we want a european society where people are stuck in their station of life. that is not who we are. that is not the entrepreneurial field of this country. that is not the get up and make something of yourself nation that you -- we have become. we are on the wrong path. we have a choice to make. and the choices that wisconsin whites make on tuesday will help determine who we ask -- the choices that wisconsinites make on tuesday will help determine who we ask to lead us there. we can help make a decision as to who our nominee will be. and then we can go to the country with an affirming mandate, give us the ability to get america back on track.
let's reclaim those founding principles that made us great in the first place. let's reject this partisan agenda of denying the problem, passing them on to other people, of pointing fingers and driving us deeper into debt and decline. in my humble opinion, the best way we can do that is to vote for mitt romney tomorrow to be our nominee. [applause] and the way we are going to do this, we are going to do this tomorrow and then we come back here in november and we in wisconsin will send the next president -- will decide the next president of the united states. [applause] >> thank you. thank you, guys. what a generous welcome.
your a boisterous group. there is a lot of energy in milwaukee. this is great. you heard the other morning. it was not quite so boisterous. we had a pancake special note -- breakfast scheduled for around noon, a branch. my staff said not many people are showing up. i said, 100 people? well, no, more like 50. the black curtain over there, they always said that up before hand. they have on the floor the tape where each of us is to stand. they have the congressman coming out, first congressman ryan. senator johnson was next and then i was the last one. the congressman goes out and introduces me and goes through the pitch you just heard. a little applause after each applause line. not a lot of applause, but little bit of applause. finally he introduces me as the next president of the united
states and i come walking out, and there is nobody there. [laughter] a big empty room, and the tables, a couple of members of my staff there with cameras. and for how fesai can i go, this is going to look terrible on the news. [laughter] it turns out it was april fool's. these guys got me good. [applause] come to wisconsin and they pull one like that on you. then we went upstairs and it was a cake -- great group and we had a pancake brunch and a chance to chat. this is billed as a town meeting, by the way. what that means is you get to ask questions. after i take a little while here, we will turn to you and let you ask any question that you like and i will answer most of them. [laughter] ad i'm also going to have congressman and his thoughts to the answers to the questions. unless you would like to ask him directly.
and you are welcome to do that as well. and congressman sensenbrenner of there, he says, i'm just watching. i answered questions all day long. i just want to tell him how much i appreciate his vote and his vote of confidence that he described a moment ago. he is a great leader that for many years has led the people of wisconsin and america. i appreciate his work. thank you, [applause] congressman. -- thank you, congressman. [applause] and i also appreciate the team that has cleaned out a little bit of space for us. are not sure what in those barrels, but do not smoke in here. i would like to see esther a better job of getting more of the stuff that they put in those barrels, but i will get back to that in a moment. [applause]
they used to deliver that stuff in just regular trucks. now they have to go around in armored vehicles when they deliver that, the price of oil has gotten so high. i want to tell you how much i have enjoyed what i've been able to do over the last few days, and frankly, over the last year, which is to go across the state and across the country and meet people across america. if all that you get to do, which most of us get to do, is the america by virtue of the evening news, you might be a bit saddened or discouraged. by and large, the people who make the news are doing unusual things, typically, not good things or they would not make the news. but i have been able to meet people who aren't living american lives -- are living american lives in a way that we do. i come away with extraordinary confidence because there are some features in america that are still there. we are hard-working. we believe in greater purposes than ourselves.
we are very patriotic people. at the same time, people recognize that we are going through tough times. and as i speak to people, rarely do i find someone who says things are great and i have no worries about the future. i'm very confident about what the future holds. most of the time people say things are ok. they are facing tough times, but they are concerned about the future for their kids and for their kids, and sometimes for themselves. i was in appleton and met a couple there, has been and wife now, both in sales. the one in the department store -- she sells fragrances. but she says, sales are down, so she can not be as confident in keeping her job as she would like. her husband works in an industry like this that sells industrial products. he said the company is small and he has had to reinvent himself more than once. he is in his 60 posing hour-and- a-half found ways -- he is in his 60s now and they have had to find creative ways while nearing retirement.
there is more anxiety than they thought they would be experiencing in their 60s. i met a guy in st. louis who was working in an advertising agency. he left, and start of making amplifiers with his son. they had a couple of employees, but the implored -- the obama economy has been tough, so they laid off the employees and have been doing it on their own. they're confident that the future is bright. another guy worked for the city, i think in the landscaping division. he decided to leave because he knew enough about mowing lawns to start his own business. i think he said he has 200 employees now, cutting lawns, using snow blowers. he said he did i use those much this winter. -- he did not use those much this winter.
[laughter] he said the price of gasoline has made it difficult to go from home to mom. and he's worried that the epa will start regulating carbon emissions on his lawn mower. he said, there is no way, given the thin margin that exist in his business, that he could go out and buy all new equipment that the government might mandate. the people i've seen are optimistic, hard-working, patriotic, but at the same time discouraged. one that was inspiring -- i met a guy named cc sive and he mentioned that he came to this country from cambodia. he worked in a restaurant and then worked as a cab driver in new york city. he saved his money and was able to get a business school degree. he began working in government and got to know some of the
political leaders. lo and behold, about 14 years after he became a resident of the united states, having come from cambodia, he is named the united states ambassador to the u.n. can you imagine that? he said, you cannot imagine the kinds of feelings that would go through my mind as i would stand before the nations of the world, and say, here speaking on behalf of the united states of america. he said, what a nation. what a country that would offer opportunity to someone who did not speak the language, cabdriver and then becomes ambassador. i love america. i love the people of america. [applause] [applause]